Donald Trump announced on Tuesday his intention to classify the Mexican drug cartels, accused of recently killing nine members of a US Mormon community in Mexico, as a “terrorist organization.”
In a telephone interview on Conservative reporter Bill O’Reilly’s website, the US president was asked whether he intended to “designate cartels as terrorist groups”.
“I’ll designate them yes, absolutely. I have been working there for 90 days. Designations are not that easy, there’s a whole process and we’re in the middle of this process, “he told Bill O’Reilly, a former Fox News anchor and close to the president.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had contacted the US authorities “to understand the content and scope” of this message.
Earlier this month, three women and six children from a US-based Mormon community in northern Mexico were massacred in an attack attributed to the highly influential cartels in the border region.
Washington had urged Mexico to “declare war” on these cartels, and Donald Trump had explained that the United States was ready to help its neighbour to the south.
“If Mexico needs or asks for help to get rid of these monsters, the United States is ready, willing and able to commit to doing the job quickly and efficiently,” tweeted the elected Republican.
Mexican authorities are regularly accused of being overwhelmed by the spread of cartel violence in the country.
With about 26,000 deaths since the beginning of the year in Mexico.