Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has written to Chinese President Xi Jinping, calling for help in controlling shipments of fentanyl to Mexico. The synthetic opioid has been blamed for a surge in overdose deaths in the United States, and Republican lawmakers have accused Mexico of failing to stop drug cartels producing and moving the drug north.
In his letter to Xi, Lopez Obrador defended Mexico’s efforts to curb the supply of fentanyl and asked for information on when and where the drug was being sent, as well as how much and by whom. He also stated that fentanyl laboratories have sprung up in Mexico, but Mexico does not produce the drug itself, and that cartels buy it directly from Asia.
However, US officials dispute this claim, arguing that fentanyl is mass-produced in Mexico using chemicals sourced mainly from China. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has been at the forefront of US pressure on Mexico, proposing legislation that would designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said countering the fentanyl threat was a top priority, and he pushed back against Graham’s criticism, stating that the vast majority of people arrested in the US for trafficking fentanyl are Americans. Ebrard also defended Mexico’s efforts to combat the drug trade, stating that “there’s no other country in the world that’s doing as much against fentanyl trafficking to the United States as Mexico.”
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, to increase their potency. Fentanyl can cause respiratory depression and death, especially when used illicitly. The drug has been responsible for a significant increase in overdose deaths in the US in recent years.
The issue of fentanyl trafficking is a complex one, with various countries involved in the production and distribution of the drug. The United States and Mexico have been working together to combat drug trafficking, but tensions have risen in recent months as US lawmakers call for more action from Mexico. With the help of China, Mexico hopes to better control the supply of fentanyl and prevent further deaths from this deadly drug.