President Trump offered the Mexican government assistance in combatting the country’s drug cartels on Tuesday just hours after cartel members gunned down at least nine Americans.
“If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,” Trump wrote in a string of tweets. “The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”
Three mothers were driving with their children in three separate vehicles between the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua en route to a wedding in LeBaron, a Mormon community about 70 miles south of Douglas, Arizona when they were attacked. The family were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Cartel members fired on the vehicles, killing the mothers and seven of their children, including twin 4-month-old babies, and causing one of the vehicles to burst into flames. About a dozen other family members, including a child, are missing and suspected to be kidnapped.
“This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth,” Trump added. “We merely await a call from your great new president!”
Mexican Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said the cartel members may have mistaken the family’s vehicles for rival criminal groups.
Trump has made cracking down on Mexican drug cartels a priority of his campaign and administration and earlier this year floated designating them as foreign terrorist organizations.
“Mexico, unfortunately, has lost control of the cartels,” the president said in March. “They’ve totally lost control of the cartels.”