Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R) led a roundtable briefing this week for the Task Force to Combat Mexican Drug Cartels. In the roundtable briefing, Rep. Crenshaw hosted Guillermo Lasso, the President of Ecuador.
Rep. Crenshaw, who is the Chair of the task force, was tapped by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) to holistically analyze how cartels operate in order to combat them. Through this process, the task force will issue a report, following its conclusion, with legislative recommendations for relevant committees as to the best way to combat cartel activity.
Commenting on the negative effect of the cartels in his country, President Lasso expressed that “when we came to government in May 2021, the Ecuadorian criminal organizations with strong ties to the Mexican cartels were practically constituted as powerful structures that have used the prisons as centers of operation.” “They are economically strong, they are armed, with materials that surpass the police and have the capacity to co-opt young people.”
“The Mexican drug cartels represent an existential threat to far too many Americans, and it’s no longer acceptable to dismiss them as a simple threat,” Crenshaw added.
Crenshaw and Florida Rep. Mike Waltz (R) introduced legislation this year that would authorize the use of the United States military to combat the drug cartels. The measure has drawn support from presidential candidates like President Donald Trump (R) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). However, it has also drawn significant criticism from Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, who even threatened to interfere with the upcoming elections to ensure that Republicans do not win.
In May, while speaking on the cartels, Governor DeSantis warned that "these cartels are running the show. I mean, they run the government, basically, down there, it’s totally corrupt. But they’re running people into our country, and they are running massive amounts of fentanyl into our country. It’s killing tens of thousands of Americans. It’s killing people in Florida communities.”