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Gov. Abbott signs order designating drug cartels as terrorist organizations

The governor also sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris demanding they too declare Mexican drug cartels as terrorists.

MIDLAND, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is cracking down on dangerous drugs crossing the border into Texas.

On Wednesday, he signed an executive order designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

The governor said drug cartels are disguising fentanyl as counterfeit pills and even targeting children with colored drugs called "rainbow fentanyl pills."

He said seizing the drugs is not enough to protect Texans and he is directing the Department of Public Safety to do more.

"We have to move beyond just the seizure of it," he said at a roundtable event in Midland on Wednesday. "We need to get to those who are the source providers of it and to the distributors of it here in Texas."

The governor is asking law enforcement agencies to identify Texas gangs that support Mexican drug cartels and seize their assets to disrupt cartel networks in Texas.

Gov. Abbott said he also sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris demanding they too declare Mexican drug cartels operating in Texas as terrorist organizations. Those include the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel, as well as others producing and distributing fentanyl.

“Fentanyl is a clandestine killer, and Texans are falling victim to the Mexican cartels that are producing it,” said Gov. 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.”

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