Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been called out by 15 Republican House members, led by Representative Bryan Steil, for his outrageous claims about fentanyl. López Obrador said that Mexico does not produce or consume fentanyl, calling the drug a “U.S. problem.” The lawmakers have demanded that the Mexican President retract his statement and work collaboratively with the United States to combat the trade of fentanyl.
GOP Members Call Out Mexican President for Outrageous Claim Fentanyl Is a 'U.S. Problem' https://t.co/BFKyP7PBRe
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 5, 2023
The letter from the Republican House members is armed with facts and statistics from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), showing that 18,872 pounds of fentanyl were seized at the southern border in 2022. This means that the illicit fentanyl is coming from Mexico into the United States, not the other way around. The primary driver of this phenomenon is the Mexican cartels, specifically the Sinaloa cartel, which have been designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for trafficking and subject to Department of Justice investigations for connections to American overdose deaths.
Fentanyl is destroying lives. We must secure the border.
— Bryan Steil (@BryanSteil) March 13, 2023
But if López Obrador isn’t swayed by the statistics, perhaps he will listen to how his own countrymen are being affected by the fentanyl crisis. Mexican government sources have shown a growing demand for fentanyl since 2017, with a study in Tijuana revealing that 93% of samples of methamphetamines and heroin contained some fentanyl. Additionally, an investigation by The Los Angeles Times showed that 71% of 17 pills tested in northern Mexican pharmacies were positive for illegal drugs, including fentanyl, which they sought to pass off as legitimate pharmaceuticals.
Mexican analysts have also criticized López Obrador’s comments, with one security analyst stating that “the president is lying” and that “the Mexican cartels… have learned to manufacture it [fentanyl].” Despite low consumption of fentanyl in Mexico, the drug exports are so lucrative that Mexican cartels have a monopoly on fentanyl production and sales, which they distribute to cities in the United States and sell.
The House Republicans have linked the fentanyl crisis to the larger issue of border security and held hearings to investigate the crisis at the border. López Obrador has also raised eyebrows with his threat to get involved in U.S. elections by asking Mexicans and Hispanics in the United States not to vote for Republicans.
It is essential for the Mexican President to retract his statement and work collaboratively with the United States to combat the fentanyl trade. The Mexican cartels are killing American citizens with their drugs, and it is time for López Obrador to take responsibility for the role that his country plays in this crisis.