Dem Rep. Gonzalez: Cartels Need to Be Targeted like Terrorists, Kidnappings This Weekend 'the Tip of the Iceberg'

On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) stated that the kidnapping of four American citizens in Mexico on Friday “is really the tip of the iceberg and this is not an isolated incident. This happens all the time.” And called for treating cartels like terrorists.

Gonzalez said, “[W]e need to recognize this is really the tip of the iceberg and this is not an isolated incident. This happens all the time. I’m glad it’s caught the attention of the FBI and the press this time…it’s an alarm that I’ve been sounding since USMCA was signed, that I thought that was a missed opportunity to not talk about security with Mexico. It’s a huge concern. They’re our second-largest trading partner and we have a problem across the border that we haven’t addressed, and it’s violence.”

He added, “I live across the border in the McAllen-Brownsville area. McAllen is the third-safest city in the United States of America, so it’s safer than most cities in the country. So, when you cross — when you’re on the U.S. side, it’s a dramatic difference. But I haven’t driven across the border in 17 years because violence erupted around that period and it’s never let up and it’s something that I think we haven’t had the political will to address.”

Gonzalez further stated that the U.S. needs to work with Mexico, “But we need a much more aggressive approach. We need to be targeting cartels as if they were terrorists, because, at the end of the day, they are. You saw the videos today. I’ve seen videos for the last 20 years even much more horrific than what we’re seeing on national news today. And it’s something that hasn’t had an aggressive, meaningful approach from our governments, and I think it’s time. And, as I said, they’re our second-largest trading partner. It’s becoming, if it’s not already, an economic national security liability for us.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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