It places the country as one of the main drug producers and with a high presence of cartels; if it does not show progress in 2021, Washington could withdraw support.
US President Donald Trump threatened to penalize Mexico for not fulfilling “in a demonstrable way” its international commitments in the fight against drugs.
In the Presidential Memorandum to determine the main countries of production and transit of illegal drugs for fiscal year 2021, Trump identified Mexico as one of the main drug producing or transit countries in the world.
“Unless the Mexican government demonstrates substantial progress in the next year, backed by verifiable data, Mexico would run a serious risk of being found to have demonstrably failed to comply with its international drug control commitments,” it was indicated in the presidential memo.
A decertification of the fight against drugs in Mexico would imply a cessation of financial assistance and support from Washington in international organizations.
Trump noted in the document that drug seizures in Mexico are still low and that the cartels represent a clear threat to Mexico and to the government’s ability to exercise effective control over various parts of its territory.
The Mexican cartels, he warned, “take advantage of the disparate controls in Mexico regarding chemical precursors to produce their deadly drugs, such as fentanyl”, on Mexican soil, and then traffic them to the United States.
The amount of drugs confiscated in Mexico, he said, remains very low given the serious threat they pose. The cartels, he explained, “are a clear threat to Mexico and to the ability of the Mexican government to exercise effective control over parts of the country.”
He added that this year Mexico approved reforms for the seizure of assets, in addition to increasing the extraditions of drug traffickers to the United States. At the same time, he said, he made substantial progress in completing his first fieldwork on opium in 17 years, as well as generating an anti-drug strategy.
Still, Trump explained, “more needs to be done.” It is necessary, he said in the memorandum, that Mexico “demonstrate its commitment to dismantling the cartels and their criminal enterprises and do more to protect the lives of Mexican and US citizens threatened by those groups.”
The US president noted that in his 2019 statement he warned that “he would consider determining that Mexico failed to uphold its international drug control commitments if it did not intensify its efforts to increase opium eradication, intercept illicit drugs before they crossed the border with United States and develop a comprehensive drug control strategy ”.
The memorandum clarifies that the presence of a country “on the list is not necessarily a reflection of the anti-narcotics efforts of its government or its level of cooperation with the United States.”
Mexico, he explained, “continues to be the source of almost all the heroin and methamphetamine confiscated in the United States, and is the transit route for most of the cocaine available in our country.” The president called for continued extraditions of key criminals, increased investigations and drug seizures, among other measures.
One of the main concerns is fentanyl, “the main substance implicated in overdose deaths in the United States.” In that sense, Trump said, “Mexico should recognize the alarming trend in fentanyl production in its territory” and prioritize the fight against the production of this drug, as well as efforts against chemical precursors that arrive from China.
The United States, the president said, is ready “to deepen its partnership with Mexico and resolve these shared challenges and welcomes the opportunity to develop joint drug control goals, as well as transparent bilateral investigations.”
Trump acknowledged that the Mexican military and authorities are “bravely” confronting organized crime that threatens both countries, but warned that unless the Mexican government demonstrates substantial progress in the following year, backed by verifiable data, Mexico will run the risk of being declared to have failed, in a verifiable way, to uphold its international drug control commitments.
Along with Mexico, in the president’s document, nations such as Afghanistan, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Haiti were designated as countries of origin or transit of drugs to the United States. , Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.