Mexico asks China to help tackle opioid fentanyl flows to US

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that he had asked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to help curb trafficking of the often-deadly opioid fentanyl to the United States.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, criminal groups ship chemicals from China to Mexico where they are used to produce fentanyl that is smuggled across the US border.

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Lopez Obrador’s appeal, made in a letter to Xi, follows calls from Republican senators in the United States to designate Mexican drug cartels foreign terrorist organizations and even send troops to fight them.

Mexico asks that “for humanitarian reasons, you help us control shipments of fentanyl that may be sent from China to our country,” said the letter, dated March 22 and read by Lopez Obrador at his daily news conference.

He said the message was in response to a request by visiting US legislators to intervene to ensure that fentanyl is no longer sent from China to Mexico, the United States or Canada.

In his letter, Lopez Obrador described the proposal to deploy US soldiers in Mexico as “an unacceptable threat to our sovereignty.”

US authorities have welcomed Mexican cooperation in the fight against cross-border fentanyl flows, while urging the Latin American country to do more to address the problem.

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