Mexican President André Manuel López Obrador on Friday said a lack of “hugs and hugs” was to blame for the U.S. fentanyl crisis, the latest in a series of remarks on the issue by the Mexican president, who has tried to explain the role of the latter deadly drug Cartels play a role in shipping the deadly drug to the United States
The controversial Mexican leader told reporters the US fentanyl crisis was caused by “a lack of hugs and hugs”.
“There is a lot of family breakdown. There is a lot of individualism. There is a lack of love, of brotherhood, of hugs and hugs,” López Obrador said, according to The Associated Press. “Therefore [U.S. officials] should provide means to combat the causes.”
The comments were the President’s latest effort to deflect a renewed US scrutiny into the US over the role of Mexican drug cartels in the introduction of fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and can be deadly in tiny doses
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The drug is mainly manufactured in Mexico using Chinese precursors and then smuggled across the land border, mainly at ports of entry but also between ports.
The DEA said in December that “most of the fentanyl traded by the Sinaloa and CJNG cartels is mass-produced in secret factories in Mexico using chemicals mostly sourced in China.”
Last fiscal year, £14,000 of the drug was seized at the southern border, and more than £11,000 so far this fiscal year. According to the National Institutes of Health, over 70,000 deaths from fentanyl were recorded in the United States in 2021.
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Attorney General Merrick Garland recently told lawmakers that Mexico is helping the US on the fentanyl issue, but could do more. He also said the epidemic was “intentionally started” by Mexico.
Several lawmakers have since called for cartels to be classified as foreign terrorist organizations, and some have raised the possibility of a military operation to take down drug labs in Mexico.
“We will unleash the anger and power of the United States against these cartels,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., said earlier this month. “We will destroy their business model and their way of life because our national security and the security of the United States as a whole depends on our taking decisive action.”
These calls led López Obrador to falsely claim that Mexico does not manufacture fentanyl.
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“Here we don’t produce fentanyl and we don’t consume fentanyl,” López Obrador said. “Why not [the United States] take care of their problem of social decline?”
He also threatened to interfere in US elections by launching an “information campaign” against Republicans.
“And if you don’t change your stance and think that you will use Mexico for your propaganda, electoral and political purposes, we will urge you not to vote for this party because it is interventionist, inhumane, hypocritical and corrupt.” , López Obrador said, later adding that Mexico would insist that “not one vote” goes from Mexicans and Hispanics to Republicans.
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This week he also called for a ban on the use of fentanyl in medicine in both countries, although there is no evidence that the use of fentanyl in hospitals is linked to the ongoing general crisis. Most illegally available fentanyl is consumed via counterfeit pills that are used to look like other drugs and medicines.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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