PULSE NEWS MEXICO
While U.S. President Joe Biden ultimately agreed to arrive at President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) much-maligned Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) on Sunday, Jan. 8, to attend the two-day North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) in Mexico City as a gesture of “friendship and solidarity” to the Mexican head of state, the White House on Thursday, Jan. 5, made it clear in no uncertain terms that the capture of the youngest son of notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán last week was not enough to appease U.S. anger over the death of 109,000 American citizens who died last year of fentanyl overdoses.
López Obrador, who met Biden at the AIFA and accompanied him into the capital on “The Beast” presidential limo, apparently got an earful during the hour-long trek to Mexico City on the dangers of trafficking the illegal drug, almost all of which enters the United States via Mexico.
Although there were no official reports as to what was discussed between the two leaders during the ride from the airport to Mexico City, the White House last week said that for Biden, fentanyl would be the number one topic.
John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in a press conference in Washington on Thursday that while the list of topics to be covering during the trilateral meeting is extensive, Biden’s biggest concern is the untempered exports of illicit fentanyl from Mexico and will be “at the top” of the U.S. agenda during the NALs, which officially opens on Monday, Jan. 9.
Other key issues that Kirby said will be discussed during the NALS will be climate change and migration, a major bone of contention between the United States and Mexico as more than 1 million undocumented migrants crossed over the U.S.-Mexico border last year, the highest number of record.
“Mexico has already taken significant steps, by arresting Guzmán, a key fentanyl trafficker, and we are certainly grateful for that,” Kirby said.
“But we are going to continue to work with Mexico to see what we can do together to stop the flow of fentanyl.”
Last week, the the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported that the equivalent of 379 million doses of fentanyl were seized last year, an amount the agency said is enough to kill every person in the United States.
Regarding the reasons why the U.S. President agreed to land at the AIFA, the spokesperson pointed out that it was a “diplomatic gesture.”
Biden, AMLO and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are expected to offer a joint statement on what will be discussed during the NALS on Wednesday, Jan. 11.