Mexico’s president says lack of hugs caused US drug crisisMarch 18, 2023
Mexico City: Mexico’s president says that US families were to blame for the fentanyl overdose crisis because they don’t hug their kids enough.
The comment by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador caps a week of provocative statements from him about the crisis caused by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid trafficked by Mexican cartels that has been blamed for about 70,000 overdose deaths per year in the United States.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.Credit:AP
López Obrador said family values have broken down in the United States because parents don’t let their children live at home long enough. He has also denied that Mexico produces fentanyl.
On Friday (local time), the Mexican president told a morning news briefing that the problem was caused by “a lack of hugs, of embraces.”
“There is a lot of disintegration of families, there is a lot of individualism, there is a lack of love, of brotherhood, of hugs and embraces,” López Obrador said of the US crisis. “That is why they (US officials) should be dedicating funds to address the causes.”
A display of the fentanyl and meth that was seized by US Customs and Border Protection officers.Credit:AP
López Obrador has repeatedly said that Mexico’s close-knit family values are what has saved it from the wave of fentanyl overdoses. Experts say that Mexican cartels are making so much money now from the US market that they see no need to sell fentanyl in their home market.
Cartels frequently sell methamphetamines in Mexico, where the drug is more popular because it purportedly helps people work harder.
López Obrador has been stung by calls in the United States to designate Mexican drug gangs as terrorist organisations. Some Republicans have said they favour using the US military to crack down on the Mexican cartels.
On Wednesday, López Obrador called anti-drug policies in the US a failure Wednesday and proposed a ban in both countries on using fentanyl in medicine — even though little of the drug crosses from hospitals into the illegal market.
US authorities estimate that most illegal fentanyl is produced in clandestine Mexican labs using Chinese precursor chemicals. Relatively little of the illegal market comes from diverting medicinal fentanyl used as anaesthesia in surgeries and other procedures.
There have been only scattered and isolated reports of glass flasks of medicinal fentanyl making it to the illegal market. Most illegal fentanyl is pressed by Mexican cartels into counterfeit pills made to look like other medications like Xanax, oxycodone or Percocet.
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