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Does Trump have the authority to single-handedly take on Mexican drug cartels?

The American president Trump is considering military intervention in Mexico to get rid of the drug cartels once and for all, but Mexico is not interested in other countries' interventions. According to Jelle van Buuren, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Trump's much wanted military intervention is easier said than done.

Trump is planning to label the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organisations (FTOs). By placing the gangs on the US Department of State list, they are officially considered to be a threat to the national security of the United States. 'This gives the US the freedom and leeway they need to deploy military forces in other countries,’ according to Jelle van Buuren. 'Such as the special forces or drones. They probably won't send in the army any time soon.' The American president has a big say in who gets labelled as a foreign terrorist organisation, Van Buuren explains: As commander in chief Trump can pretty much decide on his own whether to label organisations as FTOs, by making use of his discretionary powers. Although he's obviously being advised by generals and advisory councils.'

Operating in a twilight zone

Will the American intervention be a violation of Mexico's sovereignty, should they decide to take action? Van Buuren admits that the US would be operating in a twilight zone: 'Without a declaration of war it would officially be a violation of sovereignty. But despite that it would be legally justified in the eyes of the Americans. When dealing with foreign terrorist organisations they are allowed to operate in other countries because the national security of the US is at stake.'

You can read the full article (in Dutch) on the website of newspaper 'RTLZ' . 

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