Wednesday, May 22, 2024

AMLO sends China’s Xi Jinping letter seeking help in fight against fentanyl

President López Obrador revealed Tuesday that he wrote to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to seek his support in the fight against fentanyl. 

Speaking at his regular morning news conference, López Obrador said he sent the letter after a group of United States lawmakers requested that he ask China not to send fentanyl to Mexico, the United States or Canada. 

Mexico's Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez at US-Mexico conference on synthetic drugs
Mexico recently hosted a summit to discuss the prevention of the trafficking of synthetic drugs — but some U.S. lawmakers say Mexico isn’t doing enough. (@rosaicela_/Twitter)

“I told the lawmakers I’m going to intervene because we have a very good relationship with all the governments of the world, especially with the government of … China,” the president said before reading out his March 22 missive

In the letter, López Obrador requested Xi’s “support and cooperation” in the fight against fentanyl trafficking, asserting that,“according to the information available,” the synthetic opioid is produced in Asia and “sold freely for export to Canada, the United States and our country.” 

“… We turn to you, President Xi Jinping, to ask you for humanitarian reasons to help us control the shipments of fentanyl that may be sent from China to our country,” he wrote. 

Information about who fentanyl is being sent to, the quantities being shipped, the vessels used to transport the drug and when and where shipments will arrive in Mexico from China would be “invaluable” as it would allow Mexican authorities to have “greater control” over the entry of the opioid, López Obrador told the Chinese president.

Mexican military seizing fentanyl and crystal meth
Fentanyl seizures are increasing, but Mexico is concerned that China is not preventing shipments of raw ingredients to make the drug from being exported across the Pacific. (Cuartoscuro)

“… Friend, president, we await your response with great interest. I’m sure we will have your assistance, as has always occurred.”   

The president also wrote that fentanyl is “considered 50 times stronger than heroin” and acknowledged the high number of overdose deaths in the United States as well as the “high economic profitability” associated with the trafficking of the drug.

López Obrador highlighted Mexico’s efforts to seize fentanyl and asserted that only 30% of the illicit fentanyl consumed in the United States is smuggled across the Mexico-U.S. border. 

“Nevertheless, in a deceitful and irresponsible way, some United States lawmakers have recently blamed Mexico for the misfortune they suffer in their country due to the use of fentanyl,” the letter said. 

President Lopez Obrador of Mexico
As deaths pile up from the opioid crisis in the United States, President López Obrador is facing greater pressure from the U.S. government to tackle fentanyl production in Mexico. (Photo: Government of Mexico)

“They have even gone so far as to say that if we don’t arrest the drug trafficking groups that operate in Mexico and bring this drug [into the United States], they could present an initiative in their Congress … [in favor of] the armed forces of the United States invading our territory,” López Obrador wrote before describing such a proposition as an “unacceptable threat.”

The president told reporters on Tuesday that he also sent the letter to the head of the delegation of Republican and Democrat lawmakers who visited Mexico last month and requested that he seek the assistance of Chinese authorities in the fight against fentanyl. 

He did not mention whether Xi or the Chinese government had responded.    

López Obrador and other federal officials have recently emphasized the government’s commitment to combating the trafficking of fentanyl as they seek to refute claims from some Republican Party lawmakers in the U.S. that Mexico is doing little to stop the drug flowing across the northern border. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard asserted Tuesday that Mexico “is the country that does the most against fentanyl.”

The government has also highlighted its anti-narcotics collaboration with United States authorities, and last week hosted U.S. officials who traveled to Mexico City for the U.S.-Mexico Synthetic Drug Conference.  

Mexico News Daily

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