Sowing Life. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador highlighted that his Sowing Life program has an investment of MX$37 billion (US$2.09 billion) for 2023, creating 449,000 permanent jobs.
Since 2021, Sowing Life program has been widely promoted to improve the quality of life in Central America and southern Mexico, as it seeks to create jobs and reactivate local economies by addressing the region's two main problems: rural poverty and environmental degradation. However, according to experts, this is a long-term plan and is not designed to address many of today's problems.
Chocolate Cars. Minister of Security, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, said that since the beginning of the program, on March 19, 2022, 1,477,025 chocolate cars have been regularized. Even though the initiative was only valid for less than a year, expiring on Dec. 31, the president decided to extend it to June 30, 2023. The extension will continue in the following 14 states, where these types of vehicles transit the most: Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and Zacatecas, among others.
Fentanyl Crisis. Minister of Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, reported that 7,510kg of fentanyl have been seized since 2018.
Fentanyl represents one of the most critical healthcare issues for Mexico and the US and has been a key discussion topic for both countries. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), fentanyl is a synthetic opioid considered 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin and 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
In 2021, there were approximately 70,000 deaths in the US related to fentanyl. In 2022, fentanyl deaths accounted for 66 percent of drug-related deaths in the US. While the price of fentanyl is at its lowest point, consumption is increasing in Mexico and the US, according to authorities.
In March, US Republican Representatives Dan Crenshaw of Texas and Michael Waltz of Florida proposed solving the fentanyl crisis in the US by having President Joe Biden authorize military action against Mexican cartels. The proposal was presented in January 2023 and passed nearly unnoticed, yet re-entered the limelight due to a recent increase in fentanyl trafficking. President López Obrador has criticized this proposal, saying that the US would be meddling in Mexico’s internal affairs.