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The US and Mexico are studying an agreement to stop the flow of fentanyl to the north and the flow of weapons to the south at the border


The pact is the result of months of tense discussions between senior officials of the Biden Administration and the Mexican government.

By Julia Ainsley -

NBC News

The United States is preparing to announce an agreement with Mexico to counter the entry of fentanyl across the southern border, in which Mexico will crack down on labs and smuggling, while the United States will do more to stop the flow of American weapons. to Mexico, as revealed to NBC News, sister network of Noticias Telemundo, by two sources familiar with the strategy. 

The Mexican military and police, with the help of US security forces, will focus on tracking down raw fentanyl materials being shipped to Mexico, finding and shutting down the labs that make the deadly synthetic opioid, and going after major players in the crime. illicit trade in fentanyl, the sources said.

[The new drug mix that makes the “deadliest substance the country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier”]

In return, the Biden government has agreed to more strictly control and track firearms crossing from the US into Mexico.

The tentative deal is the result of months of tense discussions between senior Biden Administration officials and the Mexican government, the sources said.

They call it a 'zombie drug' and it is deadlier than fentanyl.

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The White House and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a speech this month that fentanyl is a problem for the United States and that nothing of the drug is produced in his country.

“We don't produce fentanyl here and we don't have fentanyl consumption,” López Obrador said, suggesting that the United States instead address its “social breakdown” problem.

[The opioid crisis is not just a white problem: deaths among Hispanics have skyrocketed]

In fiscal year 2022, Customs and Border Protection found and seized more than 50,000 pounds of fentanyl crossing the southern border.

Mexican cartels often use this potent drug to cheaply and deceptively boost the impact of less lethal drugs such as cocaine or Adderall.

Many users do not know they are taking fentanyl until after the drug has ended their lives.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 70,000 people died in the US from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, in 2021, the latest year for which data are available.

During conversations between US and Mexican officials, the sources said, the Mexicans routinely said that US guns were taking Mexican lives and that any conversation about fentanyl taking American lives should also address that issue.

A reporter holds up an example of how much fentanyl can be deadly, at DEA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, on June 6, 2017. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

As a result, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has agreed to more closely monitor the flow of weapons from the US to Mexico, the sources said. 

Another part of the deal will include giving each country access to the other's data on where fentanyl appears to better track distribution routes.

Part of the fight to stem the flow of fentanyl from Mexico is because this country is experiencing high levels of violence, absorbing the attention of its police and military.

Four Americans were kidnapped and two killed this month in Mexico. 

[A wave of fentanyl overdoses among young Latinos brings pain and frustration to this Texas city]

US federal security forces work closely with the Mexican government to stamp out drug smuggling.

Now the Mexican government has agreed to provide more personnel, while the US is willing to put more money into anti-drug operations, the sources said. 

Depending on how much money the US commits - and how much Mexico accepts - the new strategy could be the strongest drug and firearms deal to flow between the US and Mexico since the George administration's Merida initiative. W. Bush in 2004. In this initiative, the US provided more than 1.5 billion dollars to Mexico.

It has not yet been determined how much financial aid the US will give to Mexico as part of the latest plan, the sources said.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-27

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