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Mexico president: US responsible for Fentanyl crisis, denies synthetic opioid made in his country

There were over 70,601 overdose deaths in 2021 in the U.S. related to synthetic opioids other than methadone, the U.S. government says.

Published: March 10, 2023 1:13pm

Updated: March 10, 2023 1:57pm

Mexico’s president is rejecting the argument his country is in part responsible for the United States' fentanyl overdose epidemic, despite what appears to be overwhelming evidence otherwise. 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday that his country does not produce or consume fentanyl.

He made the comment during a visit to Mexico by Liz Sherwood-Randall, the United States' homeland security adviser, to discuss the fentanyl crisis. 

The Mexico president also said the United States should use family values to combat drug addiction.

In the past, the Mexican government acknowledged the synthetic opioid fentanyl was produced in its labs, using materials from China. There is also widespread concern about fentanyl being smuggled into the U.S. across the country's border with Mexico.

"Here, we do not produce fentanyl, and we do not have consumption of fentanyl," López Obrador said. "Why don’t they (the United States) take care of their problem of social decay?"

There were over 70,601 overdose deaths in 2021 in the U.S. related to synthetic opioids other than methadone, according to the National Institutes of Health.

U.S. and Mexican officials largely agree that almost all the fentanyl consumed in the U.S. is produced and processed in Mexico, according to the Associated Press.

The Mexican army, in fact, announced last month that it had seized over a half-million fentanyl pills in what it called the largest synthetic drug lab found to date. The lab was discovered in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, the wire service also reports.

López Obrador cited a list of the type of American whom he thought would turn to fentanyl, including single-parent families, parents who kick their children out of their homes, and people who rarely visit their relatives in old age homes. 

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