Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a factually-disputed letter about fentanyl to Chinese President Xi Jinping in March, which was translated this week by Mexican journalist José Díaz Briseño.
In the letter, Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, made numerous claims that are disputed by public statements by the Mexican government. He also claimed, once again, that fentanyl is not produced in Mexico, which is disputed by American authorities and international observers.
•This is an unofficial translation to English done by me of AMLO’s letter to China’s Xi Jinping requesting help on fentanyl
•AMLO’s letter to Xi is ridden w/inaccuracies contradicting his own MX Govt & US Govt data
•AMLO insists fentanyl is NOT produced in Mexico pic.twitter.com/gNm4uIKIkZ
— José Díaz Briseño (@diazbriseno) April 4, 2023
“I am writing to you to present a matter of a fundamentally humanitarian nature and to ask you, if you do not mind, for your support and cooperation,” AMLO wrote in the March 22 letter to Xi. “I am sure that we will count on your collaboration, as has always happened.”
In addition to claiming that fentanyl is not produced in Mexico, AMLO says that fentanyl killed 107,573 Americans in 2022, about 36,000 more than the figure provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to Briseño’s thread.
AMLO also states that Mexican authorities destroyed 1,383 clandestine fentanyl labs in 2022 alone, despite the Mexican Army telling Reuters previously they destroyed 492 during that time. AMLO’s claim that Mexico seized seven tons of fentanyl in 2022 is contradicted by Mexico’s top North American diplomat, who said last month that over AMLO’s entire term since December 2018, they had seized over six tons, Briseño reported.
The Biden administration has expressed a desire for more cooperation from both Beijing and Mexico City on containing the scourge of fentanyl, which is the leading killer of young Americans. However, China has been reluctant to crack down on fentanyl precursor chemicals, which are often shipped to Mexico where they are synthesized into the deadly substance, experts say. (RELATED: Biden Admin Praises Mexico After Their President Denied Any Fentanyl Comes From Country)
Recently, both AMLO and some of his top officials have stoked controversy in the United States by claiming that fentanyl isn’t produced in Mexico, and arguing that Americans are overdosing on the drug because of social ills in the U.S.