Barr To Visit Mexico To Coordinate Anti-Drug Strategy
Nov. 30, 2019 (EIRNS)—U.S. Attorney General William Barr will go to Mexico next week, to meet with high-level Mexican officials on strategies to fight the drug cartels, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard announced yesterday, during President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s daily press conference.
The Mexican government requested the meeting after President Donald Trump told Bill O’Reilly on Nov. 26 that the process of designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations is well underway. Great concern was expressed in Mexico that such a designation might then be used by some to justify U.S. military action inside Mexico against the cartels, a violation of national sovereignty which Mexico considers anathema.
“Cooperation yes, interventionism, no,” President López Obrador responded on Nov. 27.
The good working relationship between the two Presidents has once again served to head off a crisis. In yesterday’s press conference, both López Obrador and Ebrard welcomed the quick U.S. acceptance of their request, despite the Thanksgiving holiday.
Ebrard called the cooperation between the two countries on the drug fight “exemplary,” and reported that various meetings between officials have reached agreements on how to shut down cross-border arms trafficking, which are now underway. The aim, he said, is to reduce the firepower of the drug cartels as quickly as possible. (This is the “Operation Frozen” initiated after the mid-October attack by the Sinaloa cartel in Culiacan.)
President López Obrador was emphatic following Ebrard’s report, that under Mexico’s Constitution “armed foreigners cannot intervene in our territory,” and his government will not allow it. But he also insisted that Mexicans need not to be afraid, because he is confident President Trump will respect Mexico’s sovereignty.
“We think that with information, cooperation, diplomacy and persuasion, that we are going to reach an agreement on this subject,” he said.
“I have a very good relationship with President Donald Trump.... In all this time, we have not had any disagreement. Of course, he is free, he speaks; I also am free, we speak. But when dealing with matters which have to do with the interest of our two people, of the two nations, there is respect and there are agreements. I am optimistic.”
To emphasize this point, López Obrador reported that during one of their phone conversations as Presidents, Trump had told him: “They want to set us against each other. They want me to fight with you, and I don’t want that.” To which López Obrador had replied, “neither do I.”