EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Top U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials will hold a third round of talks next month on stopping the cartels from sending drugs north while bringing back guns and cash from America.
The high-level dialogue that began on Dec. 5 and continued this week with Attorney General William Barr traveling to Mexico City is scheduled to resume with a joint meeting in February, the Department of Justice said Friday.
On Thursday, the Mexican government said both countries committed to continue the fight against transnational organizations — which have stepped up the violence in Mexico in the past few months and are now major players in the smuggling of the deadly opioid fentanyl, which is claiming thousands of lives in the United States.
“Various advances on the issue of weapons trafficking were discussed with the goal of implementing operations utilizing non-intrusive technology in key border points to stop the smuggling of weapons and ammunition into our county,” Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said.
“Likewise, we agreed on a binational plan to reduce the flow of weapons, drugs and monetary instruments on the part of transnational criminal organizations […] and treat fentanyl (trafficking) as a common problem.”
States but has exploded in Mexico since tightened security on the border due to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted Mexican drug cartels to push their domestic sales, according to law-enforcement experts. In Juarez, Mexico, for instance, authorities attribute up to 90 percent of the city’s nearly 1,500 homicides last year to drug-trafficking activity.
Fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic drug primarily manufactured and shipped from China, is now blamed for nearly half of all overdose deaths in the United States. Mexican criminal groups like the Sinaloa cartel and the Cartel Jalisco New Generation are now heavily involved in smuggling the drug into the United States, according to experts.
“Big chunks still come from China … but the transnational criminal organizations know that’s a very profitable market and are getting into it,” said Victor M. Manjarrez Jr., associate director of the Center for Law & Human Behavior at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Manjarrez, a former U.S. Border Patrol chief in El Paso and Tucson, Arizona, said stopping the fentanyl from coming into the United States is a challenge.
“The criminal element is very adept, they’re usually one step ahead of the authorities. I’d say 90 to 95 percent (of the fentanyl) from Mexico is coming through the ports of entry, usually hidden in plain view,” Manjarrez said.
He explained the cartels have figured out ways to liquify the chemicals, shape them into solids and get them into the United States passing them off as “legal commerce.”
“You may be looking at a vase and thinking, ‘is that a vase or something else?’ They’re hiding it in plain sight and it’s a big challenge for law-enforcement,” he said.
Fentanyl seizures at America’s ports of entry have increased almost five-fold since 2016. That year, the Office of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported seizing 596 pounds of the synthetic opioid. By 2019, seizures were up to 2,545 pounds.
The year 2019 was one of the deadliest on record as far as murders in Mexico, according to the Ministry of Public Safety. Mexico, which has very strict firearm laws, has long held the guns that claim most of its citizens’ lives are brought in illegally from the United States.
CBP displays seized quantities of fentanyl. (AP photo)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and local authorities occasionally set up southbound checkpoints at border crossings. However, applying non-intrusive inspection (NII) technology for vehicles going into Mexico is easier said than done, Manjarrez said.
“NII is set up for northbound inspections. You basically have the gamma and X-ray machines for semis coming through El Paso, Nogales, San Ysidro, Laredo … but there’s no infrastructure in place for southbound (NII). It’ll be very interesting to see how that will be implemented,” Manjarrez said.
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I've about had it with this fentanyl s*&!. Just lost another friend to it last week. It seems the Chinese are trying to get revenge for the Opium Wars as several people have pointed out....
I'd been addicted to oxycontin when I was a kid and knew some people hooked on heroin but even that was nothing compared to this stuff. Its dropping people like flies. It's so potent these people have no clue, whatsoever as to how much they're ingesting.
On the other hand I can't imagine what kind of profit margin the cartels and even mid level distributors are making on this stuff.
Things must get worse before they can get better
El Guero - to me it wasn't fentanyl, but placidyl and qualude, later smack. Placidyl was furnished by wheel chair bound creeps to the general populace. It was developed by Pfizer. It was strong, and a hypnotic, like Ambien, but it removed all pain and thinking, in other words it made you a zombie and put you to sleep.
If you go to the Erowid site on psychedelics, you will see that Ambien is an hallucinogen, when snorted. People have been known to run around the neighborhood in underwear, polishing mail boxes.
Qualude a different story.
A barbiturate. They depress the central nervous system and were popular from the 60's to the 80's. That drug lowered anxiety and caused drowsiness, so nothing was off limits and you slept well. They are rarely encountered on the streets today, but were synthesized by the Mexicans and sold as an alternate heroin. Referred to as "disco biscuits". Now any illicit qualude you find, usually contains fentanyl.
Another travesty of earlier years, was Angel Dust. This was PCP. PCP was a mind altering drug that led to hallucinations and broke you from reality, or disassociated. It's predecessor is Ketamine. Refer to Erowid site as well for the latest information. High doses of PCP can cause memory loss, difficulties in speech and learning, depression and weight loss that can persist up to a year after stopping.
Now fentanyl. We talk on this site about limiting heroin to raise the price. That is not the case. Heroin is too costly to produce, from the farmer, processor, distributor and user. Fentanyl cuts through all of that. Not costly, not grown, easy to move, high profits and extremely addictive.
First a surgical anesthetic. fentanyl patches to treat severe, ongoing pain, a lozenge to treat cancer patients, etc.
The evolution of fentanyl is here. Highly addictive and dangerous. A replacement to Placidyl, qualudes, PCP and now heroin. A little dab will do you in.
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