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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, February 10, 2022

China And Mexican Cartels Consolidate Fentanyl Distribution Route Throughout The Americas

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

There is an opioid that works as a powerful painkiller. It’s like morphine, but stronger. Up to 50 to 100 times more powerful. As prescribed, it can relieve, with a small dose, the most acute pain of any patient. But in its illegal side, it can kill up to 100 thousand people in just one year, as happened in the United States from 2020 to 2021. His name is fentanyl and its main trafficker is Mexico.

For 20 years, The US has experienced the most intense drug epidemic in its history. First it was morphine and heroin. Then, fentanyl, which was legally released from China directly to American soil, was the protagonist of the last decade. Hence the drug traffickers managed to distribute part of what they received as street drugs. It’s not complicated. It is an entirely chemical substance. It does not need large fields or be transported in large cargoes. Be more practical and cheap to deal. And much stronger than substances like cocaine and marijuana.

So, as he has detailed to Infobae the researcher and expert on organized crime at the international level, Vanda Felbab-Brownit didn’t take many years for the big Mexican drug cartels to realize the fentanyl business, to make it their own and even, as expected, to fight its distribution in a bloody way, intensifying the deadly toll that narco has left in Mexico.

Felbab-Browm, a senior researcher in the Foreign Policy program at the Center for Security and Intelligence in the 21st Century at the Brookings Institute, based in Washington, D.C., investigated the most recent form of the fentanyl route: from China as a precursor to Mexico and from there, mainly to the United States and Canada, as well as Central and South America. His investigation was carried out between October and December 2021. He did more than 100 interviews: from characters within the field work itself to academics, politicians, authorities and journalists specialized in the subject.

She concluded what was just announced by the Federal Commission to Combat Trafficking in Synthetic Opioids, a bipartisan US group: Mexico is the main source of illicit fentanyl and its analogues; cartels manufacture it in clandestine laboratories, with chemical precursors coming largely from China.

Argentina and Brazil have become major users of cocaine. (Photo: FGR)

Since it was a situation between China and the US, the latter sought to avoid it. The researcher points out that even the Obama administration had clear attempts to reduce the amount of fentanyl that arrived from the eastern country, where the chemical leaves legally. In 2019, the Chinese government responded to US requests and established the export of fentanyl precursors under a licensing system. They thought that would control the problem.

But by then, the Jalisco Cartel Nueva Generación (CJNG) and the Sinaloa Cartel they had already noted the ease with which the drug was made, the much lower costs it represented and how simple it was to traffic it.

“Synthetic opioids fentanyl are enormously useful to drug dealers because they are so powerful that only small amounts it can supply a city girl,” says the expert in a call from Tunisia, adding that it is even much easier to create the fentanyl than heroin or cocaine, because the former does not require to be grown, which also makes it easier for marketing because the groups of criminals, “no need to control territories” for his creation. “You can have one or two labs and produce fentanyl.”

The big Mexican cartels realized that synthetic fentanyl drugs were sweeping the retail market, so they quickly took action. Vanda Felbab-Brown, Researcher at the Brookings Institute.

In addition, the medicinal qualities of fentanyl make it difficult to control its distribution. For example, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to use it in patients who experienced aggressive practices such as the process of being intubated.

Then the Mexican cartels modified route dynamics. The precursors of fentanyl, which these criminal organizations acquired legally, began to enter even more easily the Aztec territory where fentanyl was cooked and from where it began to expand more strongly towards its northern neighbors. But also to the south.

“Cartels buy precursors in China. They’re taking them to Mexico. That’s where they turn it into fentanyl. And then they distribute it mostly to the US. But in the last two years they started distributing it in Mexico itself.”

Even, the academic notes, both cartels are waging a war for control of the fentanyl business. In the last five years this battle, he points out, has spread to Central America and countries such as Colombia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador. “Fentanyl is currently mixed in cocaine, in methamphetamine, in the US market. And now it seems that both cartels are competing to reach new markets, following the synthetic opioid revolution, which they’ve even made it to places as far south as Argentina”.

However, the researcher warns that what is a gold mine for drug trafficking, being a public health emergency due to the danger of the consumption of synthetic drugs. “It’s very easy to overdose on fentanyl. Even the most veteran heroin users have easily fallen in those overdoses and died.”

The case that currently holds the Argentine headlines could exemplify the above. Although not yet confirmed, there are strong indications that the “bad cocaine,” which killed at least 23 people, it was mixed with that synthetic drug..

“(drug)users they don’t usually know they’re being sold drugs mixed with fentanyl.they think it’s (for example) pure cocaine, which makes it easier for them to overdose.”

And therefore, the expert urges, it is necessary that the crisis of this drug be a priority for the authorities, “otherwise, this is going to become a serious drug epidemic in places like Argentina or Brazil, two countries that have become large users of cocaine.”

The dealers, the researcher adds that they wait until users become addicted to fentanyl-the power of addiction is twice that of heroin – to tell them that they are using it.

Vanda mentioned not having an exact figure of the monetary value represented by the fentanyl market “ ” but it has to be very valuable; since it dominates the North American drug market,” he says.

The Times Hub


  1. No wonder why mexican cartels are the most powerful syndicates in the world

    1. Only powerful due to the government corruption. The same reason Colombia took so long to fix and is now sliding backwards. Until the people find a way to weed out the corrupt, the criminal elements will never be beaten.

    2. 10:41 Who really cares. But in reality your wrong. Whoever controls Europe takes the crown and I will give you a hint they aren't mexican

  2. Vanda is a "she", not a "he" as used in the article. Of course, in this woke world of leftism, perhaps that is the pronoun Vanda prefers? lol

  3. Never trust communism - they are worst than satan. And Mexican cartels are close being satan also.

  4. China And Mexican Cartels Consolidate Fentanyl Distribution Route Throughout The Americas.. NO SHIT SHERLOCK 😒!!!

    1. Unkown has become a Fester. He thinks he can outsmart the people that comment bin here, keep trying snuck.

    2. Unkown is a joto.
      Michoachangos Cjng going down.

    3. 6:50 Reddit kid
      Go help your mom with chores, stop pretending your doing you're homework on laptop, when you actually on BB all day.

    4. I ve been saying this for years!! 😆

  5. like the non vax crew the users thin the gene pool of adventure speakers and the over confident.

  6. we just?!!! keep on handing out free passes!!! hope you can get a stampa on that Ticket you're carrying around! because everyone's gotta go to the gate. you ask! how do I get a stampa on it when I reach it so I don't hold up the line and pass? you gotta hear a little stampede in the ground rumbling the earth just to put you over.

  7. It’s funny how a person get the death penalty smuggling drugs in china. And your organs harvested for money. But china is ok the send chemicals around the world. Anyone think about how cruel communist is.

    1. What is funny is that the U S of A let it happen

    2. Yes Unkown whatever you say, go wash the dishes.


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