Nov 29, 2019 – LeBaron Says He was Tricked Into Signing Petition to Trump to … of the American family murder in Mexico was Adrian Lebaron’s daughter. … “I did not make a petition to Trump, they sent me a document asking for that… “Are you going to designate those cartels as terror groups and start …
Recently, Adrián LeBarón confessed on the Mexican TV network La Octava that the request to the White House to ask Trump to declare Mexican drug cartels terrorists was a plot set up by far-right groups. Among the victims of the American family murder in Mexico was Adrian Lebaron’s daughter. Three mothers and their children were killed with American-made Remington rifles during an alleged cartel dispute.
The event began to generate huge media coverage right after LeBaron gave an interview to the Mexican media Milenio where the TV host seems to be leading Lebaron’s testimony to call the event a terrorist act. Then Republicans began their rounds with the media suggesting cartels should be considered terrorist groups. All that was just talking until LeBaron’s petition letter was sent directly to Trump, and hence making the case, which is still under investigation, into a threat to Mexico’s sovereignty and economy. This week, a bombshell news report by LaOctava TV network, made headlines when LeBaron himself went on television to explain that the petition was not intended to be used as a political attack against Mexico. He discloses that far-right interest groups approached him, and the implications of the statement were not explained to him. Under U.S. law, a designation of terrorism could impact Mexico’s economy with sanctions– just as it did to Iran or, or to Mexico’s sovereignty, just as it did to Syria with U.S. military intervention.
“I did not make a petition to Trump, they sent me a document asking for my vote. They brainwashed me and convinced me that I had to declare what happened to my daughter was a terrorist act, and I agreed, but no one told me about the plan and repercussions [to México] of the use of that word.”
In the Mexican TV interview, LeBaron said he did not know “the implications of Mexican cartels being designated as terrorists“, and he says he will ask President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to tell his counterpart, Donald Trump, “not to get involved, not to make those statements.” LeBaron’s statement comes after this week’s President Donald Trump’s interview with Bill O’Reilly on his radio show, in which Trump confesses he and his team have been “working for 90 days on getting the Mexican cartels designated as terrorists,” and thus be able to send drones and special forces to Mexico without the authorization or permission of the Mexican president or any Mexican authorities. In fact, a few weeks ago, Republican lawmakers in Texas began lobbying to Designate Mexican Cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations suggesting the use of drones and to freeze the accounts of Mexican government authorities.
“Are you going to designate those cartels as terror groups and start hitting them with drones?”
“I will be designating the cartels. I have been working on that for the last 90 days you know designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process.”
LeBaron told the Mexican reporter that Trump “over-exaggerated the situation” and that in fact, LeBaron has problems with Trump because of Trump’s temperament. Here is part of the interview conducted by Álvaro Delgado and Alejandro Paez from La Octava TV Program interviewing LeBaron. [Video link].
During the interview, neither O’Reilly nor Trump clarified that 80% of weapons coming into Mexico are trafficked by American citizens into Mexico with some of those weapons such as the 50 caliber machine guns exclusive to the U.S. Army and that Mexico has very strict gun laws and only one gun store in the country. Neither was said that the number of drug overdoses in the United States mentioned by O’Reilly is mainly cases implicating American Pharmaceuticals such as opioids and most recently, fentanyl, which now ranks higher than opioids -’without an antidote available.
Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard explains that the crime rate, drugs, and weapons trafficking is and has always been, a bi-national problem and as such, it needs to be handled strategically by both countries.
A recent Netflix special, entitled “America’s Deadliest Drug: Fentanyl” puts things into perspective. It shows that it is clear that the trafficking of drugs from Mexico needs to be addressed at the border, and by also tracking the network distribution inside the U.S. Most importantly, keeping better checks and balances on the distribution of dangerous drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry.
In addition, the lack of U.S. gun regulations plays a big role in exacerbating the problem. By now, 80% of gun crimes in Mexico are committed with American weapons trafficked by gun cartels run by U.S. citizens in the U.S. The weapons used in the murder of the LeBarons family members were American-made AR-15s.
Secretary Marcelo Ebrard says that a bi-national collaboration team has been formed to tackle the uncontrollable flow of weapons from the U.S. into Mexico. Mexico recently formed a National Guard expected to be completed and at full strength by June 2022. Furthermore, Mexico recently launched a very comprehensive campaign against drugs which includes not only advertising, but involves several levels of care from schools to doctors and psychologists. Marcelo Ebrard says that the United States lacks comprehensive drug prevention programs and advises the U.S. to work together in that front as well. In the meantime, some progressive democrats like Tulsi Gabbard, during a recent presidential debate, called the idea of designating cartels as terrorists “very irresponsible.”
On Wednesday, President Lopez Obrador responded to Trump very briefly and assertively:
Corporation: Yes, Intervention: No.
Former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, says that it’s a terrible idea to designate drug gangs as terrorists in part because
it will reduce Mexican cooperation as many in Mexico fear it’s the first step toward some kind of military intervention, which Trump keeps mentioning when he talks to Mexican presidents.
Other geopolitics observers like UNAM’s professor Jalife believes this entire charade is a temper tantrum from the weapons manufacturing industry because president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ended the War on Drugs in Mexico.
This war has cost the life of 240,000 Mexican citizens in the last past two Administrations, and
“it became a total failure because it did not resolve the problem.”
said Lopez Obrador.
He mentions that during the process of ending the war on drugs, the Merida Treaty was renegotiated and AMLO suggested to instead invest those 4.5 billion dollars to better fix the social fabric of the country by allocating it to development, job creation, and to education in Mexico and Central America. The talks were stalled and never was the money sent to Mexico.
Ending the war on drugs, ended a very lucrative business and that’s maybe one of the reasons the U.S. wants to bully Mexico into resuming its war on drugs. The Merida Treaty was a 4.5 billion dollar program that took money from the US Congress’ budget. It was then sent it to Mexico in order for Mexico to use it all to buy American weapons Mexico does not need. In other words, Mexico became a money laundering channel, funneling money from congress into the U.S. manufacturing and security industry.
War is big business for the security sector in the United States. When president AMLO ended the war on drugs, he also ended a hugely lucrative business,
said Professor Jalife.
This Friday, at AMLO’s press conference, Mexico’s exterior secretary Ebrard said that he spoke to the US State department and Mexico proposed to meet with U.S. Attorney general William Barr in Mexico City to talk about bilateral cooperation in the hopes of ending the trafficking of weapons into Mexico, but that interventionism is not on the table because Mexico is a sovereign country and will not allow any type of U.S. intervention into their territory.
Ebrard stresses that the right approach needs to be bi-lateral and Bi-National and that a lot of work has been done tackling the cartels. This is the first year of the new progressive president AMLO, and so far his administration has deployed a very quiet strategy against the cartels that includes freezing the bank accounts of about 2200 organized crime criminals.
Part of the Mexican strategy is to continue to dismantle the cartels on several fronts: finance and human capital. The comprehensive program also includes providing scholarships and paid-internship jobs, micro-loans, farming subsidiaries that will stop potential will-be drug gang members from joining organize crime, thus dismantling the cartels’ ability to recruit new members. For 36 years neoliberalism in Mexico destroyed the family fabric of the country. This is why President AMLO and Chancellor Ebrard have deployed a very comprehensive security plan to bring the cartels power to an end. After all, this is the first year of the new Mexican administration. He says the LaBeron case is still under investigation, but marks as positive the meeting with the U.S. attorney general in Mexico, next week. Related articles: