Mexican president to US: Fentanyl is your drawback


MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s president stated Thursday that his nation doesn’t produce or eat fentanyl, regardless of huge proof on the contrary.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador appeared to depict the artificial opioid epidemic largely as a U.S. drawback, and stated the United States ought to use household values to struggle drug habit.

His assertion got here throughout a go to to Mexico by Liz Sherwood-Randall, the White House homeland safety adviser, to debate the fentanyl disaster. It additionally comes amid calls by some U.S. Republicans to make use of the U.S. navy to assault drug labs in Mexico.

The Mexican authorities has acknowledged previously that fentanyl is produced at labs in Mexico utilizing precursor chemical substances imported from China. Fentanyl has been blamed for about 70,000 opioid deaths per yr within the United States.

“Here, we do not produce fentanyl, and we do not have consumption of fentanyl,” López Obrador stated. “Why don’t they (the United States) take care of their problem of social decay?”

He went on to recite a listing of the reason why Americans is perhaps turning to fentanyl, together with single-parent households, mother and father who kick grown kids out of their homes and individuals who put aged relations in old-age properties “and visit them once a year.”

His assertion contrasted sharply with a Thursday tweet from U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar saying a gathering between Sherwood-Randall and Mexico’s legal professional normal was meant “to enhance security cooperation and fight against the scourge of fentanyl to better protect our two nations.”

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There is little debate amongst U.S. and even Mexican officers that the majority the fentanyl consumed within the United States is produced and processed in Mexico.

In February, the Mexican military introduced it seized greater than a half million fentanyl capsules in what it referred to as the most important artificial drug lab discovered to this point. The military stated the out of doors lab was found in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state.

In the identical metropolis in 2021, the military raided a lab that it stated in all probability made about 70 million of the blue fentanyl capsules each month for the Sinaloa cartel.

“The president is lying,” stated Mexican safety analyst David Saucedo. “The Mexican cartels, above all the CJNG ( Jalisco New Generation Cartel) and the Sinaloa Cartel have learned to manufacture it.”

“They themselves buy the precursor chemicals, set up laboratories to produce fentanyl and distribute it to cities in the United States and sell it,” Saucedo stated. “Little by little they have begun to build a monopoly on fentanyl, because the Mexican cartels are present along the whole chain of production and sales.”

While it’s true that fentanyl consumption seems to stay low in Mexico and largely confined to northern border areas, that could be as a result of the Mexican authorities is so dangerous at detecting it. A 2019 examine within the border metropolis of Tijuana confirmed that 93% of samples of methamphetamines and heroin there contained some fentanyl.

Saucedo stated fentanyl exports to the U.S. are so profitable for Mexican cartels that they beforehand had not seen a must develop a home marketplace for the drug.

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“It is true that fentanyl consumption in Mexico is marginal, but some mid-level cartels have begun selling it in border cities and in big cities like Leon, Mexico City and Monterrey,” Saucedo stated.

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham held a information convention, saying he wished “to unleash the fury and might of the U.S. against these cartels.”

“The second step that we will be engaging in is give the military the authority to go after these organizations wherever they exist,” Graham stated. “Not to invade Mexico. Not to shoot Mexican airplanes down. But to destroy drug labs that are poisoning Americans.”

López Obrador stated Mexico wouldn’t settle for such threats, calling them “an insult to Mexico and a lack of respect for our independence and sovereignty.”

López threatened to begin a marketing campaign within the United States asking Mexicans and Hispanics who stay there to not vote for Republicans.

“We are going to issue a call not to vote for that party, because they are inhuman and interventionist,” López Obrador stated.

Security analyst Alejandro Hope stated López Obrador appeared trapped between his personal “hugs, not bullets” technique of not confronting cartels — which performs effectively amongst his supporters — and rising U.S. strain, particularly from Republicans. Portraying himself because the defender of Mexico’s sovereignty has been a straightforward out for López Obrador previously.

Hope stated the Mexican president could not understand how a lot the problem of declaring Mexican cartels terrorist organizations might change into a conservative rallying cry in 2024, simply as former President Donald Trump’s name for a border wall was in 2016.

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“It’s the wall, version 2024,” stated Hope. “He (López Obrador) believes everybody is as willing to make deals as Trump, but many of these (Republicans) are much more ideological.”

“The problem is that it puts the Biden administration in a terrible position, it puts it between the Republicans’ intransigence and López Obrador’s intransigence,” Hope stated.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s high diplomat, wrote in his Twitter account Thursday that proposals like Graham’s could be “catastrophic for bilateral anti-drug cooperation.”

“They (Republicans) know that the fentanyl epidemic did not originate in Mexico, but in the United States,” Ebrard wrote. “They know that more work is being done against fentanyl now than ever.”

Mexicans, each in authorities and out of doors it, are clearly afraid of fentanyl use rising in Mexico. A civic group has launched a marketing campaign of portray partitions with the slogan “Mxsinfentanilo” — “Mexico without fentanyl” — and López Obrador has launched a collection of anti-drug TV advertisements.

But as soon as once more, López Obrador’s authorities seems to view fentanyl as a U.S. drawback.

In the advertisements launched in November, the Mexican authorities used movies of homeless folks and open-air drug customers in Philadelphia’s embattled Kensington neighborhood to attempt to scare younger folks away from medicine.

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