DeSantis Open to Drone Strikes in Mexico

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican candidate for president, speaks at a campaign stop at the Iowa River Power Restaurant in Coralville on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (Photos by Amie Rivers for Iowa Starting Line.)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seemed to escalate his willingness to use deadly force against suspected criminals, including within Mexico, in comments made at a campaign event in Coralville on Thursday.

DeSantis, polling a distant second behind former President Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary, noted in his speech that, if elected, he would “finally bring the issue of the southern border [with Mexico] to an end.”

Calling fleeing Central American refugees crossing the Mexican border into the US a “national emergency,” he added, “We’re going to have military at the border, we’re going to shut the invasion down.” He also noted he would “actually build a border wall.”

But for those suspected of smuggling in people, as well as drugs like fentanyl, DeSantis said he would “lean in.”

“When they come to the border, when they try to break into our country, we’re authorizing deadly force,” he said, repeating his “stone-cold dead” line.

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During a brief question-and-answer period, one man asked DeSantis whether he would send military weaponry, like drone strikes, into Mexico itself.

“Would you be willing to use drones, whatever military it takes, to take out those drug cartels in Mexico?” the man asked.

“Yes, I’ve already said that,” DeSantis replied. “We will lean in against the drug cartels, we will absolutely reserve the right … We have the right to defend this country, we have the right to hold them accountable. And it’s not just if they happen to come over our border.”

International humanitarian law disallows the use of drone strikes against civilians. However, the US has used drone strikes since 2004 against suspected terrorists, which also killed civilians, in the Middle East and North Africa under both Republican and Democratic administrations. Trump dramatically increased the use of such strikes during his four years in office, while President Joe Biden recently tightened the rules for using them.

Generally, the US has used such strikes against suspected combatants in places it is already conducting military operations. The US has no military operations inside Mexico, though some GOP presidential candidates are open to the idea.

“If Mexico is not going to help us with that, well, then we’re going to have to do what we have to do,” DeSantis added ominously.


by Amie Rivers

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1 Comment on "DeSantis Open to Drone Strikes in Mexico"

  • Greetings Earthling!! Go DOWLING!!
    I am an DISABLED African American Senior Citizen, DISABLED by police in desantis’s florida. I will be sending more information

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