Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants to end the exchange of reproaches and accusations amid the fentanyl crisis. "We are proposing that there be a kind of truce and that we think about those who lose their lives, in the humanitarian," the president said at his press conference on Wednesday. López Obrador commented that he has already put the proposal on the table to the Government of Joe Biden and that he hopes that China, indicated by Washington as the epicenter of the synthetic drug production chain, can join. "I believe that an agreement can be reached on this, regardless of the ideological and political issue," he added.
López Obrador's statements come a day after holding a new meeting with Elizabeth Sherwood Randall, National Security Advisor of the Biden Administration, in which migration and drug trafficking were discussed. Sherwood Randall has been in charge of keeping open the channels of dialogue between the two countries, despite the fact that in recent months the Mexican Government has had a series of clashes with politicians from the hard wing of the Republican Party and US agencies such as the DEA and the State Department. She has been to Mexico three times in the past three months, largely because conservative sectors of U.S. politics have incorporated synthetic drug trafficking as one of their main assets ahead of next year's presidential election.
"We talk about fentanyl, about everything that is being done with the purpose of having information and not using this misfortune of fentanyl consumption in the United States for political purposes," López Obrador said. The position of the Mexican government is that all parties involved assume shared responsibilities and that the role of the country or its security policy against organized crime is not demonized. "Let it be clear to them that we do not produce fentanyl," said the president, who argues that the country is only an intermediate link in the global trafficking chain.
After a meeting with a delegation of Democratic and Republican lawmakers, López Obrador sent letters to the Chinese government in early April asking them to collaborate in the efforts of Mexico and the United States to combat the crisis. Beijing said fentanyl is a Washington problem, "made in the USA," and refused to acknowledge that it had a role as a facilitator of precursors, the chemicals used to make the drug.
In the midst of the geopolitical jousting a few weeks ago, López Obrador said that the government of Xi Jinping has shown itself willing to collaborate. "There is a very good attitude on the part of the Government of China, we have been asking China for collaboration because the raw material of fentanyl comes from Asia, we are not going to say China, from Asia," the president said cautiously.
He also added that he will ask other Asian countries, such as South Korea, for information on who buys the precursors and what the transfer routes are. In early May, Mexican authorities announced the seizure of a shipment with hundreds of packages in which the substance was detected and that had passed through the Korean port of Busan and the Chinese city of Qingdao.
"We do not want to blame anyone, nothing is gained by confrontation, especially when a humanitarian issue is involved," López Obrador said. As part of the "truce," the president called for putting aside "ideologies" and "political differences" to curb the public health epidemic, which each year claims tens of thousands of lives in the United States by overdose.
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