US Opioid Addiction Fuels Mexican Narco Gang War With Border Seizures Up
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths in the 12 months to last November, a record high amid the ongoing opioid crisis afflicting the country.
The US habit for illegal opioid drugs is fuelling cross-border smuggling from Mexico and gang wars, border patrol officers say.
The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says it has seized 3,569 lbs (1,600 kg) of the addictive pain-killing drug Fentanyl since October 1 last year — enough for a fatal overdose in 700 million people if they took it all at once, Fox News reported.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says 1kg of the synthetic opioid narcotic could kill 500,000 individuals.
CBP officers at the busy Arizona customs point at Nogales say they have seen a huge increase of smuggling there.
And with the drugs flowing north across the border, firearms — almost impossible to buy legally in Mexico — are going south more than seven times faster than usual.
Michael Humphries, CPB Office of Field Operations Port of Nogales area director said agents seized 5 million fentanyl pills at the border crossing last year, worth millions on the street.
"The cartels have transitioned from soft narcotics – marijuana – to heroin and opioids," Humphries said.
Last November the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported there had been more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths in the US over the previous 12 months, a record high.
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Meanwhile, seizures of southbound weapons shipments at Nogales in 2021 rose by a staggering 750 per cent over 2020.
"It’s just a big cycle that goes through, if the narcotics get in, they’re sold, then the currency and the weapons we see coming back into Mexico," CPB spokeswoman Edith Serrano said.
Humphries said the guns were "going to be used for turf battles between criminal organizations and, it could be in turn used on us, U.S. law enforcement."