US Pins Fentanyl Production on Mexico as Ebrard Arrives in Washington

Photo: The Pulse News Mexico Staff


On Wednesday, April 13, one day before Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard’s highly anticipated security meeting with the U.S. government in Washington, White House Director of National Drug Control Policy Rahul Gupta refuted Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) claims that Mexico has no illicit fentanyl production inside its borders, saying in a radio interview that “we know that fentanyl is being produced in Mexico.” 

“We know that precursor chemicals from China are reaching Mexico,” Gupta told Voice of America. We know that fentanyl is being produced in Mexico. We know that it’s trafficked across the border, and through air and sea routes into the United States.”

When probed about the fentanyl epidemic in the United States, which killed an estimated 70,601 in 2021 alone, Gupta said that “Americans are dying” from the nation’s synthetic opioid crisis.

The National Drug Control Policy director then went on to say that a person dies from a drug overdose every 5 minutes in the United States, cautioning that the same fentanyl epidemic could come to pass in Mexico if the Mexican government doesn’t take action against its production.

“It is very important because what is happening in the United States can very easily happen in Mexico as well,” said Gupta, though he noted that despite potential underreporting of fentanyl deaths in Mexico, the problem “does not compare” to the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States.

“So we are working with the Mexican government, with President López Obrador, in a mutually respectful way, to make sure that both countries are doing everything possible to save lives on both sides of the border,” concluded the U.S. official.

This collaborative approach to fentanyl began taking flight on Thursday, April 13, the day after Gupta’s interview, when Ebrard and his companions from Mexico – Mexican Secretary of Security Rosa Icela Rodríguez, Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) Luis Cresencio Sandoval, Secretary of Health Jorge Alcocer, Secretary of the Navy Admiral Rafael Ojeda, Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero, and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Esteban Moctezuma Barragán – met with the U.S. government in Washington.

Upon the Mexican delegation’s arrival on Wednesday evening, Ebrard affirmed Mexico’s commitment to working hand in hand with the United States on the issue, calling Mexico the “main ally” of the United States in the fight against fentanyl.

At the reception event, Ebrard spoke on Mexico’s intentions for Thursday’s meeting and said that the “advanced priority for Mexico is to stop arms trafficking from the United States in an effort to reduce the firepower of criminal organizations and have more security in our local communities.” 

The receiving U.S. delegation included Gupta, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, National Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and Secretary of the Navy Carlos del Toro, while Canadian Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman and National Intelligence and Security Advisor Jody Thomas were sent as Canada’s representatives for the event.

“What we have is to identify what are the additional actions that we can take so that the Bicentennial Framework Agreement has improved results in two factors: the reduction of fentanyl circulation and deaths caused by fentanyl and the reduction of violence in Mexico due to firearms,” said Ebrard during Thursday’s talks.

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