Mexico president: lack of hugs caused U.S. fentanyl crisis
Mexico’s president said Friday that US families are to blame for the fentanyl overdose crisis because they don’t hug their children enough.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s comments capped a week of provocative statements he has made over the crisis over fentanyl, a synthetic opioid sold by Mexican cartels that is blamed for nearly 70,000 overdose deaths in the United States each year.
López Obrador said that family values in the United States have collapsed because parents do not allow their children to live at home long enough. He also denied that Mexico produces fentanyl.
On Friday, Mexico’s president said during a morning briefing that the problem stemmed from “the lack of hugs, hugs.”
“There is a lot of breakdown of families, there is a lot of individuality, there is a lack of love, brotherhood, hugs and hugs,” López Obrador said of the US crisis. “That’s why they (US officials) need to allocate funds to address the causes.”
Lopez Obrador has repeatedly said that Mexico’s close-knit family values saved him from a wave of fentanyl overdoses. Experts say Mexican cartels are now making so much money from the US market that they see no need to sell fentanyl in their home market.
Cartels often sell methamphetamine in Mexico, where the drug is more popular because it is believed to help people work harder.
López Obrador has been stung by calls to recognize Mexican drug gangs as terrorist organizations in the United States. Some Republicans have said they favor the US military to crack down on Mexican cartels.
López Obrador on Wednesday called the US anti-drug policy a failure Wednesday and proposed banning the medicinal use of fentanyl in both countries, even though a small portion of the drug makes its way from hospitals to the illegal market.
US authorities estimate that most of the illegal fentanyl is produced in clandestine Mexican laboratories using Chinese precursor chemicals. Relatively little of the illicit market comes from the diversion of fentanyl, a drug used as an anesthetic during surgery and other procedures.
There have been only scattered and isolated reports of glass bottles of medical fentanyl entering the illicit market. Most of the illegal fentanyl is squeezed by Mexican cartels into fake pills made to look like other drugs like Xanax, oxycodone or Percocet.
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