Governor Abbott designates Mexican cartels as terrorist organization

The Governor orders DPS to target, dismantle cartel infrastructure

AUSTIN, Texas – On Wednesday, Sept. 21, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations. The order also instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to take immediate action keep Texans safe amid the growing national fentanyl crisis.

During a roundtable discussion and press conference in Midland today, the Governor also sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The letter requested federal terrorist classifications for the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel, as well as other cartels producing and distributing fentanyl.

3 1

The Office of the Texas Governor provided the photo.

Governor Abbott released the following statement

“Fentanyl is a clandestine killer, and Texans are falling victim to the Mexican cartels that are producing it,” said Governor Abbott. “Cartels are terrorists, and it’s time we treated them that way. In fact, more Americans died from fentanyl poisoning in the past year than all terrorist attacks across the globe in the past 100 years. In order to save our country, particularly our next generation, we must do more to get fentanyl off our streets.”

The following officials joined the Governor at the roundtable discussion and press conference:

  • DPS Director Steve McCraw,
  • DPS Regional Director West Texas Region Jose Sanchez,
  • Midland County Judge Terry Johnson,
  • Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis,
  • Midland County Sheriff Chief Deputy Benny Matlock,
  • Odessa Police Chief Mike Gerke,
  • Midland Police Chief Seth Herman
  • and Midland Memorial Hospital District Police Chief Steve McNeill.

Governor Abbott also directed DPS and law enforcement agencies to identify Texas gangs that support Mexican drug cartels. He instructed these agencies to seize these gangs assets to disrupt cartel networks operating in Texas communities. Thousands of Texans have received counterfeit pills laced with the deadly synthetic opioid.

According to the Office of the Texas Governor, Mexican drug cartels have disguised fentanyl as counterfeit pills and target children with “rainbow fentanyl” pills. Governor Abbott emphasized in his letter that immediate, decisive action is needed from the Biden Administration.

The Governor directs agency leaders to ramp up efforts

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Governor sent a letter to state agency leaders instructing them to ramp up efforts to fight against the fentanyl crisis. He asked the leaders to prepare for the next legislative session with statutory changes, budget priorities and other initiatives that will improve Texas’ ability to combat fentanyl deaths across Texas. The letter also directed state agencies to coordinate efforts to raise awareness of fentanyl dangers.

You can read Governor Abbott’s executive order here. You can also read his letter to the Biden Administration here.

The Office of the Texas Governor provided the above information and photo.