Yes, they are terrorist in every sense of the word. These cartels ultimately want to fall under the protective umbrella of "legitimate government" in what becomes a hybrid narco/government. What they want is political and they use public violence and fear to achieve it.
What is shocking is that while the terrorist acts committed by these cartel members are brutal, commonplace, and extremely public, we still prefer to think of them as businessmen first using terror as a profit ploy instead of perpetrators of the purest forms of terrorism there is.
Comparing drug cartels to organizations like Hezbollah, who in their wildest dreams have not touched the pure violence and political success that come from the cartels, is like comparing the Atlanta Braves to your kids little league ball team.
Anyhoo, very good OP. I encourage people to read more about cartels and their relationship with international violence. If anything it puts the term terrorism and its objectives in a much clearer view.
This post was edited on 5/27 at 3:26 am