President Trump on Tuesday accused the Mexican government of not doing enough to battle the country’s drug- and human-smuggling cartels, and added that it should “wage war” against them in the wake of a deadly attack against nine U.S. citizens in northern Mexico.
Three adult women, along with six children — all members of the LeBaron family that settled down with an independent group of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the region 30 years ago, were killed in an attack near the U.S.-Mexico border.
It’s not clear who carried out the attack, but reports noted the Mexican government is investigating.
“This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth,” Trump tweeted. “We merely await a call from your great new president!”
“A wonderful family and friends from Utah got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other, with the result being many great American people killed, including young children, and some missing,” he wrote earlier.
“If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,” Trump continued. “The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”
Thus far, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has pursued a less militarized approach to dealing with the cartels. However, they continue to operate relatively freely throughout large swaths of the country.
Mexico has one of the highest murder rates in the world. CNN reported that Mexican officials said murders nationally set a record in 2017.