The defense of the US southern border united the Republican candidates for the White House on Wednesday in their desire to increase the fight against the cartels without fear of even using "deadly force", in the words of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis .
Photo: Tom Williams
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Leer en español: La lucha contra los cárteles llega al debate republicano: "Hay que usar fuerza letal"
"The cartels are killing tens of thousands of our fellow citizens. They control many parts of our southern border. We have to restore the rule of law and defend our people," said DeSantis, who along with former President Donald Trump (2017-2021), absent in this meeting, is the best positioned in the electoral contest.
An American president, he added, "must use all available powers as commander-in-chief to protect the country. (...) So yes, we reserve the right to intervene."
The former governor of Arkansas (2015-2023) Asa Hutchinson also positioned herself in favor of "lethal" force if necessary, but also advocated allying with the Mexican government in this fight against the cartels.
"You can't be successful against a cartel unless you have Mexico as a partner," she said in Milwaukee, where eight hopefuls to represent the Republican Party in the 2024 presidential elections had their first electoral face-off.
The defense of the border with Mexico was also used with an eye toward stopping the entry into the country of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid responsible for more than 100,000 deaths in the United States in 2022.
"The greatest urgency for the Americans, from a national security point of view, is the southern border. If we only spent 10,000 million we could finish the wall. (...) That should be the priority of this government and as the next president of the United States I will make sure it is finalized," said Tim Scott, a senator from South Carolina.
The war against the cartels has been a constant argument on the Republican side.
Last March, for example, his objective of declaring the cartels as terrorist groups took another step in that direction with the presentation of a bill that calls for that designation and for authorizing the Army's actions.