Ambassador Ken Salazar foresees “historic times of cooperation” between US and Mexico

Mexico City, Oct 6 (EFE).- US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said Friday that “historic times of cooperation” are coming between his country and Mexico, as he discussed details related to the binational High-Level Security Dialogue, which focused on the fentanyl crisis and migration.

“There are historic times of cooperation between Mexico and the United States with tough challenges. That is why we must work together,” said the ambassador at a press conference.

For Salazar, the challenge of alleviating the consumption and trafficking of this substance is very “difficult and painful.” He assured that one of the objectives is to stop the producers who come from China and pass through Mexico.

On Thursday, a meeting was held in the Mexican capital between governments headed by the Mexican Foreign Minister, Alicia Bárcena, and the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

At the meeting, both countries promised to work together to alleviate the consumption of fentanyl, although they still do not agree on where this synthetic opioid is produced.

At this meeting, Mexico reported the destruction of more than 2,000 synthetic drug laboratories since the beginning of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration in December 2018.

Obrador in December 2018, as well as 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 weapons.

Washington has long maintained that Mexican cartels manufacture the drug using chemicals purchased in China and then traffic the substance into the United States, where 70,000 people died last year from fentanyl overdoses.

However, in a joint press conference on Thursday, Mexico’s Secretary of Public Security, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, remarked that the substance is not produced in her country.

Salazar downplayed the importance of these statements and affirmed that the most important thing is that they are working together with the Mexican government.

“We know we have a global fentanyl problem, which needs solutions,” she said.

The theory that the drug comes directly from China to the United States and that only a tiny part passes through Mexico has been publicly supported by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for months.

Pressure from Washington for Mexico to control fentanyl is growing ahead of both countries’ presidential elections in 2024, particularly with Republican hopefuls calling for using the US military to fight cartels on Mexican soil and designating them as terrorists.

Salazar also commented on the controversy sparked by the US border wall expansion in South Texas.

“What is required is a modern US border with technology to make it more secure,” said the ambassador.

López Obrador considered in his morning press conference this Friday that the United States will not materialize the border wall extension, despite the fact that Joe Biden’s Administration announced the extension of some 36 kilometers by order of the US Congress.

Mexico and Central America are facing an “unprecedented” migratory wave, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with up to 10,000 migrants arriving daily at the border with the United States, according to López Obrador. EFE


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