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Mexico warns will not allow US operations against cartels

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Mexico City, Nov 29 (AFP) President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador warned Friday that Mexico would not allow armed US operations against drug cartels on its territory.

"We are not going to allow that armed people act in our territory. Armed foreigners cannot intervene in our territory. We will not allow that," Lopez Obrador said.

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he planned to designate the Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations, after earlier saying he would help Mexico wage war on the drug gangs and wipe them off the face of the earth.

According to a report, what Mexicans do fear is that a terrorism designation could send bilateral relations back into the dark days of the 1990s, when annual U.S. certifications of Mexico’s anti-drug efforts became a regular source of friction.

The possibility of U.S. sanctions and aid reductions constantly loomed over Mexico between 1987 and 2002, when the certification process was weakened to a less threatening form. Mexico was faced with loss of aid or access to international financing, as well as possible trade, visa and banking sanctions.

“Every time, those procedures made cooperation with the United States tremendously more difficult,” noted Mexico City security analyst Alejandro Hope. “This sends us back to all that.”

Mexican officials and experts don’t fear that Trump will send killer drones into Mexico. Such drone strikes have been a mainstay of U.S. anti-terror operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but nobody thinks they would be launched into Mexico.

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