Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador pushed back on Thursday against claims that the open U.S. border with his nation — and the drug cartels that stream across it — is responsible for America’s deadly fentanyl crisis.
The problem, the leader said, is “a lack of love” and the “disintegration” of American families.
“There is a lot of disintegration of families, there is a lot of individualism, there is a lack of love, of brotherhood, of hugs and embraces,” López Obrador told reporters at a news briefing, according to the Associated Press. “That is why they (U.S. officials) should be dedicating funds to address the causes.”
The comments come amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Mexico, following the kidnapping of four American citizens by a Mexican drug cartel that left two Americans dead.
Five suspected Gulf Cartel assassins were later found tied up and dumped on a street with a letter of apology to the victims’ families signed by contrite narco bosses.
Cartel bosses apologize to families of ‘Tummy Tuck Four’ by taking harsh action against kidnappers https://t.co/WH7Wj85BQ0 pic.twitter.com/4DY8KSyOtB
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 10, 2023
The incident sparked calls from furious Congressional lawmakers to designate the drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).
“They are bold enough to kidnap and kill foreign nationals in broad daylight; there is no limit to the inhumane methods they will use to achieve their ultimate end — profiting off of human suffering,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said in announcing the aptly named “Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act.”
“This most recent atrocity adds to the already massive human toll including 72,000 dead Americans from fentanyl poisoning, more than 1,000 dead migrants along our border, and countless human and sex trafficking victims,” he said of the kidnapping. “Enough words. It’s time for Congress to act.”
GOP rep. introduces bill designating Mexican cartels as terrorists: ‘No longer just drug-running gangs’ https://t.co/vKsUqsZHCg pic.twitter.com/3FQrvrYeVv
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 12, 2023
On Thursday, López Obrador argued that Mexico was not responsible for the fentanyl flow into America.
‘Mexico is not the country that introduces the most fentanyl into the United States,” he told reporters. “I maintain that more fentanyl reaches the United States and Canada directly than reaches Mexico.”
( Video: YouTube)
“AMLO went further to say that ALL fentanyl-laced pills seized in Mexico were blue,” tweeted Mexico Today editor José Díaz Briseño.
“In the US there are (pills) of all colors & flavors,” he quotes the president as saying.
AMLO went further to say that ALL fentanyl-laced pills seized in Mexico were blue:
“In the US there are (pills) of all colors & flavors” pic.twitter.com/Oi4eD69WeV
— José Díaz Briseño (@diazbriseno) March 16, 2023
“López Obrador has repeatedly said that Mexico’s close-knit family values are what have saved it from the wave of fentanyl overdoses,” the AP reports. “Experts say that Mexican cartels are making so much money now from the U.S. market that they see no need to sell fentanyl in their home market.”
“Cartels frequently sell methamphetamines in Mexico, where the drug is more popular because it purportedly helps people work harder,” the outlet adds.
According to a 2020 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) report, Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) “are producing increased quantities of fentanyl and illicit fentanyl-containing tablets, with some TCOs using increasingly sophisticated clandestine laboratories and processing methods (i.e., laboratory grade glassware, unregulated chemicals, and industrial size tablet presses).”
“DEA, working in conjunction with Mexican officials, has seized and dismantled numerous fentanyl pill pressing operations and fentanyl synthesis laboratories in 2018 and 2019, highlighting the role TCOs play in supplying the US fentanyl market,” the report continues.
“TCOs are also increasingly producing wholesale quantities of illicit fentanyl pills and smuggling them into the United States,” the DEA stated. “DEA reporting continues to indicate the Sinaloa and the New Generation Jalisco (Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación or CJNG) cartels are likely the primary trafficking groups responsible for smuggling fentanyl into the United States from Mexico.”
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