Mexico City: Mexico’s president says that US families were to blame for the fentanyl overdose crisis because they don’t hug their kids enough.
The comment by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador caps a week of provocative statements from him about the crisis caused by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid trafficked by Mexican cartels that has been blamed for about 70,000 overdose deaths per year in the United States.
López Obrador said family values have broken down in the United States because parents don’t let their children live at home long enough. He has also denied that Mexico produces fentanyl.
On Friday (local time), the Mexican president told a morning news briefing that the problem was caused by “a lack of hugs, of embraces.”
“There is a lot of disintegration of families, there is a lot of individualism, there is a lack of love, of brotherhood, of hugs and embraces,” López Obrador said of the US crisis. “That is why they (US officials) should be dedicating funds to address the causes.”
López Obrador has repeatedly said that Mexico’s close-knit family values are what has saved it from the wave of fentanyl overdoses. Experts say that Mexican cartels are making so much money now from the US market that they see no need to sell fentanyl in their home market.
Cartels frequently sell methamphetamines in Mexico, where the drug is more popular because it purportedly helps people work harder.
López Obrador has been stung by calls in the United States to designate Mexican drug gangs as terrorist organisations. Some Republicans have said they favour using the US military to crack down on the Mexican cartels.