Image credits: Gobierno de México
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News Article

Drug Trafficking Increases/John Kerry Visits Mexico

By Paloma Duran | Thu, 03/31/2022 - 10:55

Synthetic drugs have become more popular. The Ministry of Defense (SEDENA) reported that the trafficking of synthetic drugs in Mexico has displaced marijuana and poppies due to their rapid addiction, greater ease of production and transportation, in addition to generating higher profits for drug traffickers. “The decrease in marijuana cultivation is subsequent to the legalization of the drug, causing organizations to migrate to the production of synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs have an upward trend.  This is our biggest threat.”

SEDENA reported that of the total drugs seized during President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government, 60.4 percent are synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and phenethyl, while 39.6 percent are marijuana and poppy. SEDENA reported that synthetic drugs normally come from Asia. However, laboratories have also been found in Sinaloa, Michoacan, Jalisco, Durango, Baja California, Guerrero, Sonora, Quintana Roo and Guanajuato. Meanwhile, the states that produce poppy are Sinaloa, Durango, Chihuahua and Guerrero.

AMLO accuses Netflix of romanticizing drug trafficking. López Obrador accused Netflix of romanticizing drug traffickers in its films and series, as it reduces disapproval of this crime and increases its acceptance. “Netflix series portray criminal gangs, drug traffickers with pretty colors. They put handsome actors and beautiful actresses with large residences, cars, jewelry, designer clothes and, above all, with a lot of power to subdue the authorities. This is very dangerous because drug traffickers destroy young people. We are talking about thousands of deaths, which are ignored in these series.”

On several occasions, López Obrador has highlighted the dangers of normalizing drug trafficking on large channels like Netflix, since it normalizes crimes, which are not only widely accepted but admired. In addition, experts have said that these series and movies can reinforce negative stereotypes of the country at the national and internal levels, which affects the perception of the country and its opportunities. .

Protesters against Mayan Train. López Obrador accused those who are against the Mayan Train of being hypocrites, arguing that there are companies like Xcaret that manipulate natural areas but do not receive protests. In addition, he highlighted that Xcaret encourages protests for economic and political interests.

On March 22, a campaign against the Mayan Train was launched by celebrities that included Eugenio Derbéz, Natalia Lafourcade, Bárbara Mori, among others. In a video, celebrities explained that the Mayan Train’s Section 5 was carried out without an environmental study or citizen consultation, which represents a risk for the ecosystems of the region and nearby communities. In addition, these celebrities asked the president to listen to the opinion of specialists to understand how the land would be affected, as well as their proposals. In addition to celebrities, 43 organizations, including companies and NGOs, signed a petition against the Mayan Train for affecting the region's biodiversity.

Electrical reform will be discussed further with US authorities. López Obrador reported that on Thursday he will receive US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry and US businessmen from the energy sector to inform them about Mexico´s clean energy plan and the electrical reform. “We want to further explain our electricity reform proposal. We do not want to go through what is happening even in the US, where, due to the invasion of Ukraine, US consumers are buying gasoline at very high prices. We will be self-sufficient."

The presidential reform initiative targets the disappearance of autonomous regulators like the Regulatory Commission of Energy (CRE) and the National Commission of Hydrocarbons (CNH), the elimination of self-supply contracts and clean energy certificates (CELs), as well as the cancellation of all existing generation permits and power purchase and sale contracts with private parties. The goal is to strengthen state-owned companies PEMEX and CFE. Although the reform has not been approved yet, it has been highly controversial. Many experts warn that if approved, dirty energy will prevail and be more expensive.

Experts say gas prices in all countries will continue to be affected by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the government say it will normalize fuel prices. However, it has not been possible. In February the price of fuel increased 8.49 percent, which is higher than the 7.28 percent annual inflation during the same period.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Gobierno de México, Milenio
Photo by:   Gobierno de México
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst