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After La Mora Massacre, Mexico Says Terrorism Designation Not Needed

Family members carry a casket toward the ceremony
Murphy Woodhouse/KJZZ
editorial | staff
Family members carry a casket toward the ceremony on Nov. 7, 2019, for three of those killed in the vicious attack against a small Mormon community in Sonora on Nov. 4, 2019.

In the wake of a brutal massacre in a small northeastern Sonora Mormon community, some are asking for the United States to label drug gangs terrorist organizations.

On the White House petition page, the request condemns cartels for what they describe as “unbridled acts of violence and murder” that have “overrun our borders and created an international crisis.”

“They are terrorists, and it’s time to acknowledge it,” the petition goes on to say.

But Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard says such a designation would come with risks, including the possibility of allowing for direct U.S. intervention.

“Of course Mexico would never accept that,” he said.

Ebrard also argued that the step isn’t necessary to effectively investigate the case, which the U.S. is assisting with. While not sharing details, he says there have been advances in the investigation, and that there would not be impunity.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.