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Republican lawmakers within the U.S. reacted with outrage Friday to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s declare that his nation performs little function within the fentanyl disaster killing tens of 1000’s of Individuals yearly.
“Clearly the President of Mexico does not care that 70, 000 individuals died of fentanyl overdose in America final 12 months,” stated Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) in an interview with NPR.
“He is allowed his border to be managed by the cartels and he does not care.”
Throughout a prolonged press convention Thursday, López Obrador disputed whether or not Mexico performs a big function in illicit fentanyl trafficking.
“Right here, we don’t produce fentanyl, and we should not have consumption of fentanyl,” López Obrador stated.
He additionally blamed the overdose disaster within the U.S. on “social decay” in American society.
“We deeply lament what’s occurring in america – however why do not they battle the issue … and extra importantly why do not they care for their youth?”
However most drug coverage specialists and officers with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration say there is not any query Mexican drug cartels are fueling the explosion of lethal fentanyl on American streets.
U.S. regulation enforcement officers say lately, Mexican officers have refused to cooperate on efforts concentrating on fentanyl labs inside Mexico.
“We’re not getting info on fentanyl seizures; we aren’t getting info on seizures of precursor chemical compounds,” stated DEA chief Anne Milgram throughout a Senate listening to final month.
Obrador’s feedback observe demand for army motion by GOP lawmakers
In latest days, Republican lawmakers have instructed the loss of life toll is so dire, U.S. army ought to play a job inside Mexico serving to disrupt traffickers and drug gangs.
“We will unleash the fury and would possibly of america in opposition to these cartels,” stated Sen. Lindsey Graham (Republican – SC) at a press convention Wednesday.
Republicans have additionally known as on the U.S. to designate drug cartels as worldwide terrorist organizations.
Throughout his press convention Thursday, López Obrador mocked these proposals as “Robocop” and “authoritarian” pondering.
He stated a U.S. army presence inside his nation would symbolize an unacceptable infringement of Mexican sovereignty.
“We wish to be clear about our place,” López Obrador stated. “We is not going to permit any overseas authorities to mingle, and not to mention overseas armed forces, in our territory.”
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Whereas López Obrador repeatedly singled out Republican proposals for criticism, his feedback additionally put him at odds with the Biden administration.
U.S. officers have repeatedly urged Mexico to do extra to focus on fentanyl and methamphetamine labs, which now function with impunity.
Simply hours earlier than the Mexican president spoke, U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar tweeted that the 2 nations “should coordinate efforts in opposition to illicit fentanyl manufacturing and trafficking.”
In latest days, the Biden administration has begun rolling out extra high-tech surveillance gear at border crossings designed to detect fentanyl.
Throughout his state of the union tackle, Biden additionally known as for a “surge” alongside the U.S.-Mexico border to scale back fentanyl trafficking.
A name for the U.S. to disrupt fentanyl trafficking even when that impacts ties with Mexico
However many drug coverage specialists query whether or not any of those measures will considerably cut back the supply of fentanyl on American streets.
Most fentanyl is available in by means of authorized ports of entry, smuggled within the roughly 70 million vehicles and vehicles that transit the border yearly.
Detecting and halting drug shipments hidden amongst that visitors is a frightening problem.
It is also unclear whether or not the Mexican authorities has the firepower and institutional power to battle the cartels, that are closely armed and effectively organized.
The depths of the issue have been illustrated simply final month, when the U.S. prosecuted a former high Mexican regulation enforcement official, Genaro Garcia Luna.
Garcia Luna was a accomplice the U.S. trusted within the drug battle for years but it surely turned out he was working for one of many main cartels.
Nonetheless, with fentanyl deaths this excessive, there’s stress in Washington, D.C., to do one thing to disrupt fentanyl trafficking, even when it additionally means disrupting commerce and diplomatic ties with Mexico.
“If it means we have to decelerate the crossings on the Southern border, we will should decelerate crossings on the Southern border,” stated Sen. Scott.
“They’re killing our youngsters. So if meaning we do much less commerce with Mexico, we do much less commerce with Mexico.”
Digital story edited by Maquita Peters.