Biden administration tells DEA to stop using term ‘Mexican cartel’ to appease Mexican government

The directive for Drug Enforcement Administration officials not to use the term “Mexican cartel” came directly from the Biden administration to facilitate relations with the Mexican government, two recently retired DEA officials told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The DCNF exclusively received an email in August that asked DEA officials to “now avoid saying ‘Mexican cartel'” when speaking to the media. The email was sent as the drugs continued to cross the US-Mexico border.

A recently retired DEA official told DCNF that when the new administration arrived, the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the DEA to submit interview requests for approval. The retired official, who requested anonymity, said the Justice Department had refused many requests for national information in addition to language advice, but ultimately relaxed and allowed some to do local interviews where he used the term “Mexican drug cartel“. and called each by name.

“They didn’t want us to talk about Mexican cartels,” the retired official said. “I think they just meant transnational criminal organizations because I don’t think they meant to put all the blame on Mexico, they thought it was misleading. But they didn’t give us much. They weren’t very transparent with certain things.

The DOJ did not respond to DCNF’s request for comment, nor did the DEA and the White House. The DOJ had previously declined to say whether the DEA’s public messaging should go through the DOJ for approval.

The retired official said that despite the corruption of the Mexican government, there are still Mexican police officers who really want to fight drug trafficking. The Biden administration, he said, did not negotiate properly with Mexican officials.

“Trying to talk about it honestly is a balance because these guys are taking a chance,” the former official said. “So you’ve got good guys and bad guys you’re dealing with in government over there and you don’t want to make them too bad. “

“Within the DEA, I will tell you that for some reason when it comes to the messages on Mexico, I thought we were very slow with the new administration,” he said.

The administration’s handling of the situation has worsened its relations with Mexico, putting the United States “in a very bad position right now,” according to the retired official.

“The situation with the relationship we have with Mexico right now, our government’s reluctance to engage in it, even to engage in it, that’s the wrong thing,” he said. “They don’t commit to it. When you think about it, I might ask the question “if Mexico is your biggest threat because all the drugs come from there, why didn’t the new administrator fly to Mexico and didn’t sit down and start meeting people and putting all the stakeholders together to fight it? ”

“The Mexican cartels, they come from Mexico, they are powerful and basically they get government support where it’s just a hands off approach or they actively support one group and not another, this kind of things. From a political point of view at the moment, this is not being dealt with appropriately.

He also explained that the current situation at the border is not being properly addressed, saying law enforcement is poorly equipped to handle the situation. On top of that, he continued, the issues are being addressed from a political perspective, rather than being viewed from a national security perspective.

Border authorities continue to stress that drug trafficking and human trafficking continue to be a problem.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 437,244 pounds of drugs at the southern border between October 2020 and September 2021. The seizures included 181,970 pounds of methamphetamine and 10,586 pounds of fentanyl.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott mobilized Texas law enforcement to resolve the issue, resulting in the arrest of thousands of illegal migrants.

Another recently retired DEA official called the directive “political correctness gone mad” and a denial of “reality”, saying it would hurt the agency’s morale.

“I think this is an attempt by the DOJ to relax with the corrupt rulers of Mexico to try and strengthen cooperation between the DEA and Mexico, which I understand at a pretty low point,” a- he declared. “Although, I don’t think it will be effective at all. “

The U.S. government is negotiating with the Mexican government to allow DEA agents to work in Mexico after the country restricted overseas law enforcement operations and stopped issuing visas to their officials, reported CNN in October.

The retired official said the Biden administration, by limiting the use of the term Mexican cartel, was trying to appease Mexico when it should hold those responsible to account.

“It seems to me more of a calming measure than trying to hold them accountable, because if we are trying to hold them accountable then why are we avoiding the fact that this is in fact Mexico-based DTOs?” [Drug Trafficking Organizations] – that you are not even allowed to name them that way, ”he said. “It feels more like a relaxation measure to me. It doesn’t make sense to me to hold them accountable.

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