(L-R) White House National Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall; the Mexican Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez; the Mexican Foreign Minister, Alicia Bárcena; the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken; Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas participate in a press conference on October 5, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico. EFE/ José Méndez

Mexico tells US it has no fentanyl production

Mexico City, Oct 5 (EFE).- During the High-Level Security Dialogue with the United States on Thursday, the Mexican government insisted that fentanyl is not produced in the country, as US officials affirm that Mexican cartels make the synthetic drug.

“There must be some type of fentanyl that comes into Mexico, and yes, it does go to the United States, but I insist that Mexico does not produce fentanyl,” declared Rosa Icela Rodríguez, Mexico’s secretary of security and citizen protection.

Fentanyl trafficking was one of the main topics of the meeting with the Washington delegation, which included Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of National Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and White House National Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.

At the start of the meeting, Mexico’s Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection reported the destruction of more than 2,000 synthetic drug laboratories since Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government took office in December 2018, including 900 this year.

She also noted the seizure of 1,435.6 tons of precursor chemicals, 470 tons of methamphetamines, 184 tons of cocaine, 7.6 tons of fentanyl, and more than 44,700 high-powered firearms.

Mexican Foreign Secretary Alicia Bárcena also noted, “Mexico does not produce fentanyl precursors. That is very clear.”

“The precursors arrive mainly through the ports, and logically, some of the precursors that arrive are dual-use, that is, legal precursors that are used for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, etc., that take an illegal path, that is what we are working on,” Barcena indicated.

Although the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) claims that Mexican cartels produce fentanyl with chemical precursors from Asia, particularly China.

Secretary Rodríguez denied that the United States and Mexico were at odds on the issue, claiming that Mexico has no specialized or “appropriate” laboratories to produce the synthetic opioid.

“There is no contradiction in the position of the United States and Mexico. In Mexico, I insist, chemical precursors are not produced; these precursors come from Asia, generally from several countries, and in Mexico there are laboratories, kitchens where, in most cases, methamphetamines are produced,” she argued.

Barcena refuted that there is a “denial” on the part of López Obrador about the problem.

“First of all, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has given us exact instruction that we support and collaborate in everything that has to do with the production, trafficking, and consumption of fentanyl. So, no, there is no denial on his part. What is true is that most of what exists in Mexico is methamphetamine,” she said. EFE