Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has written to officials in China requesting Beijing’s help in stemming the flow of fentanyl into Mexico.
Lopez Obrador said at a news conference that he had written the Chinese after U.S. officials encouraged him to reach out to Beijing in a recent visit. The Mexican president also struck out at the U.S., according to the Associated Press.
He complained about the U.S. in his letter and the “rude threats” coming from U.S. officials to classify Mexican drug cartels as terror groups.
“We come to you, President Xi Jinping, not to ask for your support in the face of these rude threats, but to request that for humanitarian reasons, you help us control shipments of fentanyl that can be sent from China to our country,” Lopez Obrador said, quoting from his letter to the Chinese.
“Unjustly, they are blaming us for problems that in large measure have to do with their loss of values, their welfare crisis,” he wrote. “These positions are in themselves a lack of respect and a threat to our sovereignty, and moreover they are based on an absurd, manipulative, propagandistic and demagogic attitude.”
In past remarks, Lopez Obrador was insistent that no fentanyl ripping through U.S. communities is produced in Mexico. Last month, Lopez Obrador blamed the U.S. drug problem on a “lack of hugs.”
“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 said. “That is why they (U.S. officials) should be dedicating funds to address the causes.”
Millions of dollars-worth of pills laced with fentanyl are trafficked into the U.S. from Mexico each year, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Much of that comes from drug labs run by two of Mexico’s most violent and influential cartels, the Sinaloa and the New Generation Jalisco.
Although the cartels run the drug trade across the border, most of the fentanyl that run through cartel labs comes from China. Chinese drug companies ship massive amounts of fentanyl precursor drugs to cartels in Mexico where the cartels press the drug into pills that mimic the look of medication. For example, the pills are often dyed blue and made to look like oxycontin.
Many overdose deaths from fentanyl in the U.S. happen to people who are not even aware that they are taking fentanyl-laced pills.
The United States and Mexico are reportedly nearing a deal to crack down on drugs flowing north across the border. In return, U.S. law enforcement will crack down on guns flowing south.