Mexico, TheUnited States and Canada Meet to Fight Against Fentanyl Trafficking

    The White House Internal Security adviser visits Mexico City once again to coordinate the fight against synthetic drug trafficking between the three countries

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    In just a few years, fentanyl has become the great unknown, monopolizing the topic of discussion that has most strained the relationship between Mexico and the United States. This new synthetic drug, 50 times more powerful than heroin, much cheaper and more difficult to detect, has become a lucrative business for organized crime groups and a headache for relations between Mexico and the United States.

    A delegation from the Government of Joe Biden has arrived in Mexico this Monday to address, together with Canada, the fight against trafficking in this opioid responsible for the deaths of more than 110,000 people in the United States last year. This is the fourth visit in the framework of these talks by Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, White House Internal Security Advisor, who will lead the US delegation, and who will meet with Security Secretary Rosa Icela Rodríguez.

    Also traveling with Sherwood-Randall are Under Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Rich Verma; the Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice, Lisa Monaco and the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kristie Canegallo. “The meeting will improve coordination and the fight against the threat of synthetic drugs and public health, the methods of drug trafficking and illicit finance,” the US State Department said.

    Alarming situation

    As part of these joint efforts, the Mexican government has agreed to inform its partner of reports on the seizure of drugs, including fentanyl. Last June, the Mexican Army seized more than 1,700 kilos of fentanyl, a record amount in recent years. This 2023 is, by far, the year of the Government of LópezObrador in which there have been more seizures, a sign of the political pressure that is being exerted from Washington and as a result of more public budget allocated to the Armed Forces, the National Guard and Security tasks. “A lot of cocaine is being seized, a lot of chemicals, also fentanyl, much more than what was done before, much more. It is that before the drug traffickers had the power”, President LópezObrador pointed out in the morning conference this Monday.

    Among other issues, the delegations will also address the crisis of irregular migration, arms trafficking and human trafficking. “We are working very well with the Government of the United States, there are no substantive differences, but we have to continue with the cooperation and follow up on everything that has to do with migration, the support programs for Central America, the work visas that are being applied to migrants from some countries, which have given very good results in ordering the migratory flow,” the president declared.

    As the latest crusade against drugs rages between offices in Mexico, the United States and Canada, evidence suggests that opioid use has also grown in Mexico, although it remains a market more dominated by methamphetamine and cocaine.

    Forming a coalition

    Two weeks ago, Secretary of State Antony Blinken virtually brought together representatives from 84 countries, a list that included Mexico, the main route of entry for the drug, but not China, the country from which most of the chemicals used to make fentanyl come, with the aim of creating a coalition that improves cooperation and the fight against this and other synthetic drugs. “Once they have saturated our market, the transnational criminal mafias are focusing elsewhere to increase their profits,” he told them. “If we don’t act together with fierce urgency, it will be a catastrophe,” he stressed at the meeting.

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