World, Americas

LeBaron family asks US to list narcos as terrorists

Petition needs 100,000 signatures by Dec. 24 to get response from White House

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 25.11.2019
LeBaron family asks US to list narcos as terrorists

ANKARA

The LeBaron community in Mexico filled a petition Monday, asking the President Donald Trump administration to list Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, according to a local daily.

The demand came after three women and six children belonging to a Mormon family were killed earlier this month in northwestern Sonora state by drug cartels, Mexican News Daily reported.

The petition, uploaded to the White House online platform, said that cartels "control the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. from Mexico, including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and ultra-deadly fentanyl".

"With seemingly unlimited resources it has proven almost impossible to stop them. They run major human trafficking networks," it said. "They kidnap and extort with almost complete impunity. Their unbridled acts of violence and murder have overrun our borders and created an international crisis."

"They seek political power in order to create a narco-state in Mexico," it added.

According to the petition, there are approximately 35% more murders committed in Mexico each year than by all officially designated terrorist groups combined.

"They are terrorists, and it’s time to acknowledge it!"

The petition needs 100,000 signatures by Dec. 24 to get a response from the White House.

Bryan LeBaron, a California-based activist with close links to the Mormon communities in northern Mexico, told local daily El Universal that "the aim of the petition is to attract the attention of the presidents of the U.S. and Mexico" and "encourage them to develop a joint strategy to combat drug cartels".

The dual U.S. and Mexican citizen, LeBaron claimed that "Mexico doesn’t have enough resources, soldiers or weapons" to combat organized crime on its own.

"We saw that in the release of the son of El Chapo Guzman and also in the massacre of my family. They [the security forces] took almost eight hours to arrive," he said.

Mexico has long been besieged by deadly violence with drug cartels and criminal gangs fighting for control of territories.

The total number of victims of violent deaths since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December 2018 is approaching 20,000, according to the National Public Security System.

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