House Bill Extending Terrorist Designation to Drug Cartels Would Ease Path to Asset Freezes

By Colby Adams

A bill that would classify Mexican drug cartels as terrorist entities could result in more asset freeze orders for banks, say sources. The legislation, first introduced in March by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and co-sponsored by 12 Republican lawmakers, including House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King (R-NY), would expand foreign terrorist organization (FTO) designations to Mexican cartels in efforts to shift counterterrorist resources towards Mexico and U.S. border states. If adopted, McCaul's proposal would apply banking sanctions to all associates of the Arellano Feliz Organization, Los Zetas, the Beltran Leyva Organization, La Familia, the Sinaloa Cartel, and the Gulf...