WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Friday he will temporarily hold off designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations at the request of Mexico’s president.
Trump said last week he would make the designation to disrupt the drug cartels’ finances by imposing sanctions.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the plan, saying he wanted cooperation with the United States on fighting drug gangs, not intervention.
“All necessary work has been completed to declare Mexican Cartels terrorist organizations,” Trump said on Twitter.
“However, at the request of a man who I like and respect, and has worked so well with us, President Andres Manuel @lopezobrador we will temporarily hold off this designation and step up our joint efforts to deal decisively with these vicious and ever-growing organizations!” he said.
A growing chorus of conservative voices in the United States has called for Mexican cartels to be classified as terrorist groups after the killing in Mexico last month of nine American mothers and children with dual Mexican nationality.
Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Sonya Hepinstall