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Although last September the Republican governor in Texas, Greg Abbott, had named Mexican cartels as terrorist groupsthe state Congress took an additional step with a law.
This is Senate Bill 1900, signed into law on June 8 by Governor Abbott, which designates Mexican drug cartels and criminal organizations as foreign terrorist organizations, known as FTOs, in Texas.
“It increases the penalties for the destruction of illegal drugs and the operation of caches,” the state government said. “This bill also adds foreign terrorist organizations to current intelligence databases and allows local entities to file disorderly conduct lawsuits against them.”
The law follows the executive order issued by Governor Abbott on drug cartelsin addition to requesting the Government of President Joe Biden to take similar actions at the federal level.
It is unclear how the state of Texas will enforce this new law, but Abbott has been vocal in his stance on Mexican criminal organizations, though little has been said about those cartels’ US partners.
On March 15, Colonel Steven C. McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, acknowledged that at least six cartels operate in Texas.
“How many Mexican cartels operate in Texas?“, questioned the Republican representative Carlos A. Giménez (Florida).
“In Texas we are focused on six cartels that operateMcCraw replied shortly.
Representative Giménez did not comment on the operation of these cartels in Texas, but he questioned McCraw if he knew how many members of these criminal groups operate on the Mexican side.
We have made estimates [pero] by the extension of the cartels […] with participating members in Texas […] let’s say about 100,000 members […] because at some point they are direct or indirect members of the cartels,” McCraw said.
McCraw acknowledged in his response that there are cartel members operating in Texas, but faltered when he mentioned it.