Tuesday 17 October 2023

Major Mexican Drug Cartel Claims Its Banning Production Of Fentanyl. Experts Are Skeptical.

 One of the most powerful drug cartels in history that is responsible for the majority of fentanyl coming into the United States has reportedly banned the production and sale of the illicit drug amid increased political pressure.

The Wall Street Journal reported that cartel operatives that the newspaper interviewed said the Sinaloa Cartel was “prohibiting the production and trafficking of the illegal opioid in its territory after coming under increasing pressure from U.S. law enforcement.”

The alleged order came from the sons of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the former head of the Sinaloa Cartel, who is in a supermax prison in Colorado.

The cartel hopes to “evade pressure from U.S. law enforcement,” the newspaper reported, which comes as deaths from the drug have skyrocketed over the last decade.

One U.S. official that the newspaper spoke to described the move as a public relations campaign, saying the cartel would not stop producing fentanyl.

“In the aggregate it won’t mean anything” the official said. “They think if they do this, they won’t take as much heat.”

The report said the Biden administration was pressuring the Mexican government — which is often aligned with the cartels — to do more to dismantle the operations, especially the Sinaloa Cartel.

Various cartel operatives that the Journal spoke to said that they had ceased production of fentanyl because the cartel had started killing anyone still involved in producing or trafficking the drug.

The organization hung banners in various areas throughout the state of Sinaloa warning cartel members that if they were involved with fentanyl, they would be killed. Similar banners were allegedly found in other Mexican states like Tijuana and Sonora.


Other operatives said that the cartel was hoping by leaving the fentanyl business that U.S. authorities would focus their resources on going after the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Some of the cartel members interviewed by the Journal said they quit because they could either no longer get the precursor chemicals needed to make the drug, or because they found other cartel members who had been shot to death and who had fentanyl pills thrown all over them. The paper noted that about a dozen people believed to be involved with the cartels have been kidnapped or gone missing over the last two weeks—all believed to be involved with fentanyl production.

“We believe these kidnappings and disappearances are linked to the ban on fentanyl because their relatives haven’t presented formal complaints to authorities,” he said. “These people are very scared.”

Even if the ban is real, U.S. officials said the supply of fentanyl was so great that it would likely be months before officials see a reduction of the drug on U.S. streets. The cartel will likely increase exports of cocaine, meth, and heroin to compensate for any reduced cash flow from the ban on fentanyl sales.

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