Mexican Officials to Discuss Fentanyl Smuggling in U.S.

April 10, 2023

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Monday that members of his country’s security cabinet would travel to the United States to meet with U.S. officials about fentanyl trafficking.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC further states that most recent fentanyl-related overdoses are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which is distributed through illegal drug markets, and it is often added to other drugs, making those drugs “cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.”

The CDC says fentanyl overdoses killed more than 100,000 people in the U.S. in 2022.

The U.S.-Mexico meeting will include other topics as well, such as weapons trafficking, according to López Obrador.

Some U.S. lawmakers have been calling on the Biden Administration to take a harder line and ratchet up pressure on Mexico to crack down on the fentanyl trafficking. Some Republican lawmakers have even gone so far as to introduce a bill to seek military authorization to “put us at war with the cartels.”

Last week, China responded to a letter from late March sent by López Obrador requesting help in stopping shipments of fentanyl. In its response, China insisted there has been no illegal trafficking of drug between China and Mexico—though China neglected to make any mention of supplies of the chemicals used to synthesize fentanyl.

López Obrador on Monday reiterated his assertion that no fentanyl is being synthesized inside Mexico. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has disputed his claim. 

The DEA has called fentanyl “the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered.” 

Some 14,000 pounds of fentanyl were seized at the U.S.-Mexico border last fiscal year—nearly all at legal points of entry, according to the DEA.

PHOTO Source: Daniel Tahar

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