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Mexican transnational criminal organizations now producing own fentanyl: AG Jeff Sessions

December 17, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Mexican transnational criminal organizations now producing own fentanyl: AG Jeff Sessions

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Mexican drug traffickers have started to establish labs to manufacture the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed last week.

Until now, China has been the primary source of fentanyl — which is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and much cheaper to make — shipping large quantities through Mexican narcotics networks to the U.S. market.

“Fentanyl started from China,” Sessions said on Thursday at the close of U.S.-Mexico Strategic Dialogue on Disrupting Transnational Criminal Organizations.

“A considerable amount has been shipped to Mexico and then enters across the border.”

The bilateral meeting was attended by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexican Secretary of Interior Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, and Mexican Acting Attorney General Alberto Elias Beltran (U.S. Embassy)

However, he continued: “We are seeing precursor chemicals in Mexico and manufacturing labs begin to develop. So one of the priorities is to nip that in the bud… and make sure that it does not become a big problem.”

Fentanyl is increasingly the leading cause of death in the U.S. opioid epidemic, which resulted in 64,000 fatal overdoses in 2016.

The epidemic has its roots in the extensive over-marketing of addictive prescription painkillers like Oxycontin.

Moves to regulate that market have forced addicts to begin using heroin and, increasingly, cheaper but more deadly fentanyl.

The U.S. has also placed pressure on China to crack down on lab exporting fentanyl to the U.S, market multiple channels including the mail and parcel services.

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