Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared on Wednesday that heThe fight against drugs launched by the United States has failed and proposed to ban fentanyl even for medical uses, despite the fact that very little of that drug seeps from hospitals onto the illicit market.
López Obrador has grappled in recent days with the issue of fentanyl, which has become a major security concern. The president has denied that Mexico produces the potent narcotic, which causes some 70,000 overdose deaths in the United States each year.
US authorities estimate that most illegal fentanyl is produced in clandestine Mexican laboratories using materials brought from China. Relatively little of the narcotic is diverted from hospitals, where it is used as an anesthetic for surgeries and other procedures.
But López Obrador said he will ask doctors and experts if everything could be banned the use of fentanylin order to reduce illegal use.
“We are also going to ask the United States to ban it for medical use,” said the president.
Reports of vials of fentanyl finding their way onto the illegal market have been few and far between. Most of the illegal fentanyl is processed by Mexican cartels into Xanax-like, oxycodone or Percocet-like pills.
Many people who take these pills don’t know they are taking fentanyl.
On Tuesday, Mexico’s Defense Secretariat reported that soldiers found 1.83 million illegal fentanyl pills in a hideout in Tijuana.
The rise in illegal fentanyl has sparked calls in the United States to label the Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations, with some Republicans even demanding that the government dispatch the military to fight the cartels.
López Obrador has rejected calls to intensify the fight against these criminal networks.
“We are not going to be your servants,” said the president, referring to the United States. “They elect us in Mexico to protect Mexicans.”
“We have to help each other, but not submit to failed strategies,” he declared, adding, referring to the United States anti-drug agency, that “it has been shown that they cannot” deal with the problem.
Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our channel Youtube and activate notifications, or follow us on social networks: Facebook, Twitter and instagram.