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Mexico another BRICS in the wall?

7 June 2023

Very little, if anything, has been appearing in Mexican media (or, anywhere substantial, with a few exceptions back in March) about Mexican inclusion in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) bloc. Given that nearly all discussions have either been superficial or from websites as obscure as this one. At most, a passing mention of “possible” membership in the group, or simply a recap of what possible advantages there might be, should Mexico be included.

Not that there wouldn’t be… trade with China (or China-based) businees has greatly increased, and cheaper Russian fertilizer would certainly be welcome. Not being tied to the US dollar for these imports and a more balanced export market aren’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, the world is changing:

The year 2020 marked parity between the total GDP of the G7 (the U.S. plus allies) and the total GDP of the BRICS group (China plus allies). Since then, the BRICS economies grew faster than the G7 economies. Now a third of total world output comes from the BRICS countries while the G7 accounts for below 30 percent. Beyond the obvious symbolism, this difference entails real political, cultural, and economic consequences. Bringing Ukraine’s Zelenskyy to Hiroshima to address the G7 recently failed to distract the G7’s attention from the huge global issue: what is growing in the world economy vs. what is declining.

Richard D. Wolfe, “The World Economy Is Changing—the People Know, But Their Leaders Don’t” Clunterpunch, 7 June 2023.

Given Mexico’s economic ties to the United States (with something like 75% of its exports depending on the US market); a presidential election; a growing (and also under-reported) trade dispute over GM corn imports; the perennial complaints from the US about “drug cartels”, a massive pushback from the United States were Mexico to seriously consider allying openly with China and Russia… one can’t imagine it being allowed to happen.

That is, as it stands right now, the US still has more influence … and something of a veto … over Mexicn policies. That is, while the US limits itself to rhetorical rejection (or, ignores) Mexican policy towards countries unfriendly to itself (Venezuela, Cuba, Boliva), it’s well understood by those countries that in bodies like the United Nations, Mexico cannot outright support them, at the best abstaining when the US and its allies vote in opposition to something favored by those countries (and often the rest of the world).

Whether US “sanctions” (under one or another justification) against Mexican businesses and individuals, more demands for “arbitration” over trade issues under “NAFTA 2.0” (The US, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement), building yet more walls and other barriers to cross-border movement, or even more repressive measures (say, labeling “cartels” as “terrorists”) might follow.

It could happen… but I’m not holding my breath.


Astrid Prange De Oliveira, “Los países BRICS se redefinen por oposición al G7“, DW, 26 March 2023.

More than 30 countries want to join the BRICS“, moderndiplomacy, 24 may 2023.

BRICS nations offer a new world order as alternative to the West“, DW, via The Hindu, 27 March 2023.

Richard D. Wolfe, “The World Economy Is Changing—the People Know, But Their Leaders Don’t“, Counterpunch 7 June 2023.

Mexico seals BRICS Decision: Joining #BRICS Alliance! How Will It Impact the World?” Video, LineFlux,

Trees… yearning to breathe free.

4 June 2023

Gotta love my city.

From “Ante inacción de la Benito Juárez, vecinos liberan raíces de árboles“, Elba Monica Bravo for Jornada.

With picks, shovels, crowbars, hammers and mallets, residents of the Benito Juárez borough mayor’s office “freed the roots” in the San José Insurgentes neighborhood, to allow them to receive water, and to create more green space.

Palms, rubber trees, poplars, pines and cypresses growing on Mercaderes, Saturnino Herrán, Lorenzo Rodríguez and Diego Becerra streets were rescued from “drowning in cement” and some additinal trees.. two ashes and a year and a half old were planted by Narvarte resident Andrés Parra, who volunteed to assist in the operation.

Sebastián López, another Narvate resident, lamented that Borough mayor Santiago Taboada “is not interested in the environment and only makes speeches about his pet security program.” Lopez criticized the local administration for the 2,000 trees lost to poor pruning,

“They are drowned in cement, torturted to death as they age or dying without being replaced by an adminstration with a reforestation plan”. At the corner of Yácatas and Eje 5 Sur, they allowed a butcher shop to remove a jacaranda tree to expand access to the parking lot, and between Real de Mayorazgo and Mayorazgo de la Higuera there are dozens of planters without trees or plants, and even left some with just stumps in them.

Carmen Contreras, from the neighborhood Participation Council, criticized the mayor’s office for responding to the requirements to prune or rescue trees that they claim the species does not exist and terminated the application for action, despite having presented photographs and electronic locations.

Councilor Enrique Tamayo said that the actions were carried out as part of World Environment Day, dedicated to raising awareness among neighbors to protect trees. “The only thing left is for the mayor’s office to attend to our request to collect the sacks of concrete and gravel that were left to one side of those liberated trees”

Photo: María Luisa Severiano

The long way round?

1 June 2023

Reports that an alleged “Cartel member” was filmed carrying what looked like a Javalin missile (video by Milenio TV here) have lead to speculation (perhaps fed by Russia Today) that “suplused” (i.e. stolen) black market US military supplies are being diverted from Ukraine to … Mexico?

I can well believe that US weaponry for Ukrainians are being diverted to criminal organizations (likely with the connivance of Ukrainian officials, and/or those foreign “volunteers” ), although one would assume there are plenty of other criminal enterprises much closer to the eastern edge of Europe with willing buyers.

Likely, the “javalin” (if it is, indeed, a javalin) came the same way most criminal firepower comes into this country… from the United States. Military grade weapons thefts have been a concern for several years (story from 2021 here) and, with the lax controls on the transfers of weapons to the Ukraine, I can easily imagine some being diverted for off-the-books sales closer to home.

The reason this IS a story, though, prbably has less to do with what the weapon is, but what it represents… Mexico has always been loathe to get itself tangled up in US foreign policies, especially those involving military adventures. Between that, some nostagia for the old Soviet Union as a counterweight to the “colossus of the north”, and genuine anger over not just recent statements by irresponsible US politicans about sending US troops (and, obviously, weapons) to Mexico to fight the kind of guys who are carrying javilines (or alleged javilines), the US has been rightly criticized (and it’s a criticism heard more and more) for “demanding” Mexican halt it’s northward narcotics trade, while defending (or failing to do much of anything) about its own sothbound arms exports.

The American invasion, and what remains…

31 May 2023

Luis Antonio Rojas for The Washington Post

My neighborhood is considered the “old city” althogh old is a relative concept, having been platted in 1890, almost yesterday in a city going back about 650 years. Along the way Cortés and company marched down the main street (and ran back up the street when angy Aztecs chased them out the first of July in 1520. The the regret of the Aztecs, he said, “I’ll be back”… and was.

So too, were the gringos, in 1846. from a couple different directions on 11 -12 Septermber 1847. Not a major engagment up at the Garita de San Cosme (although among the combattants was a young Lieutenant named Ulysses S. Grant) but … what was important at the time, is that there was a Protestant Church there.. which included a Protestant churchyard. which is why so many of the US casualties were buried in what was then the edge of town.

Given growth in the 20th century, a central ring road built in the early 1960s, and a major theater taking about half the original space, the graves were moved to niches along the walls of a one-acre plot… most victims of the “Unjust Invasion”, but also a number of later arrivals, including a couple deluded Confederate generals who somehow thought they could carry on the “great cause” under the Emmperor Maximiliano

Visiting it is somewhat hit or miss. It was opened for US Memorial Day, and if the caretaker is around, he can let you in.

I started to write this the other day, but we had a power outage, and I just never got back to this.

Hey, Jude…

20 May 2023

Badiraguarto, Sinaloa isn’t a place on most tourists’ bucket-list… unless, that is, unless you have an hankering to visit the hometowns of Horatio Alger type stories of the poor boy from the small town who by pluck and luck works his way up from humble fruit vendor to one of the world’s most famous transportation and logistics experts, overseeing at its height, a multi-billion (some say trillion) dollar industry.. but never forgot his home town, and was always good to his mother. I mean, of course, local hero(?9 Joaquin Guzman Loera.

It’s most important local industry being, shall we say, a bit on the dangerous side, and for which the local producion is desperately sought… perhaps it’s no surprise that the patron saint of the desperate and those in danger… Saint Jude… Judas Taddeo in Spanish… might be called upon to watch over the affairs of the small (population, about 7000) community buried in the Sierra Madres.

Watch over it, he will… an 18 meter (60 feet for the metrically challenged) statue… by Cuilican scuptor Fidel Chaidez…. after a year of work was delivered yesterday in two long flatbed trucks. The instrallation will tower over the community, perhaps bringing in a few religious tourists, or at least, one hopes…will take a bad town and make it better… better… BETTER, .

Photo of sculpture in progress (Euro EsEuro).


It takes a thief… or two or three

15 May 2023

If the British Museum has the world’s best collection of stolen goods in the world, it’s kinda of a jumble. Perhaps the National Library of France thought it too messy, and decided to specialize in one kind of pilfered possessions… obviously written documents.

Like the Tonalamatl (roughtly a Nahuatl “Book of Revelations”).

I can’t read it either… but a Monsieur Joseph Marius Alexis Aubin… bopping around Mexico back in the late 1830s on a looting expediton (er.. doing archeolgical research back in the day when European empires figured everybody else’s history was fair game) though it worthwhile to nab the only known copy in 1840, out of the collection of the 18th century Spanish collector and historian Lorenzo Boturini Where exactly Botuini acquired it during his research into the Virgin of Guadalupe story, part of his planned history of “Septronial”.. north-ish… America”, and apparently annoyed somebody in the colonial administration. He had him deported in 1743, much of his (presumably pilfered in the first place) research documents seized, and turned over the the Viceroy.

Which in tern were seized by the Republic, and housed in what passed for the national archives of the time, when Aubin walked in one day in 1840, stuck the tonalamatl codex (the Aztec style book) under his coat, and simply walked out. Along with several trunks of loot Aubin acquired in the course of his own investigations, he high-tailed it back to Paris.

Aubin would return to Mexico during the reign of Emperor Maximilian, but… well… things didn’t go so well for the French and their puppets, and he soon found himself headed home, and drifting into paranoia. Guilty conscience or Aztec curse? You decide.

While still considered an expert and scholar of his field, his “collection” was acquired by the Biblioteque Nacional… where it sat undisturbed until the 19th of June, 1982. That morning, a Mexican lawyer and newspaper owner, José Luis Castañeda, having asked to see the codex, pulled a reverse Autin move of 1840, sticking the fragile amate scroll under HIS coat, headed to the airport, and caught a flight to Madrid.

The perps: Botorini, Aubin, Casteñeda

With the Sûreté and Interpol chased Casteñeda around the globe…. from Madrid, to Cairo, to New York, to Cancún, where the found the errant document sitting in Casteñada’s desk drawer. He claimed.. and would a newpsper man lie? Would a lawyer? (Don’t answer that!)… that he had done the deed for the honor of Mexico. Alas, it appears he had met with rare book dealers (er… fences) in New York, but it did put a strain on Franco-Mexico diplomatic relations. The French… having once had the Mona Lisa spirited out of the Louve by a patriotic Italian … were loathe to admit they were themselves cultural theives… after all, the French claim they “own” culture, n’est-ce pas? And the Mexicans, while not quite willing to accept that one of their own would be so base as to do what has been done for centuries (i.e. selling off national treasures to foreigners, and perfidious gringos in New York at that) not willing to extradite or even charge Casteñada, a cultural cold war persisted for several years.

The Biblioteque Nacional denied entry to Mexican passport holders, and French cultural programs in Mexico were curtailed. A face-saving truce was finally reached in 1990, when the French “permanently loaned” the Tomlamatl de Aubin to INAH (the National Institute for Anthropology and History)… keeping it safely locked away, although it’s easily availabe (if you happen to read Nahuatl glyphs) on-line here.

“El mexicano que robó a Francia un códice azteca para devolverlo a México”, Mexico Disconosido

“Tonalamatl Aubin”, Mediateca INAH

“Joseph Marius Alexis Aubin”, Puebloas Originarios

Lorenzo Boturini Benaduci: apuntes biográficos”. Códice Boturini

The revolting behavior of some women!

3 May 2023

History remembers the revolutionary leaders Zapata, Villa, and other he-men. The women, who lived in silence, went on to oblivion.

A few women warriors refused to be erased:

Juana Ramona, “la Tigresa,” who took several cities by assault;

Carmen Vélez, “la Generala,” who commanded three hundred men;

Ángela Jiménez, master dynamiter, who called herself Angel Jiménez;

Encarnación Mares, who cut her braids and reached the rank of second lieutenant hiding under the brim of her big sombrero, “so they won’t see my woman’s eyes”;

Amelia Robles, who had to become Amelio and who reached the rank of colonel;

Petra Ruiz, who became Pedro and did more shooting than anyone else to force open the gates of Mexico City;

Rosa Bobadilla, a woman who refused to be a man and in her own name fought more than a hundred battles;

and María Quinteras, who made a pact with the Devil and lost not a single battle. Men obeyed her orders. Among them, her husband.

Eduardo Galeano, “Childen of the Days”

The can-openers.

17 April 2023

It used to be said that Mexico was a democracy… every day EXCEPT Election Day. From Calles in the 1920s to Ernesto Zedillo in the 1990s, even with changes in party label and ideology…the winner in the presidential election was a foregone conclusion… whomever the outgoing administration decided was their guy for the next administration. There was some suspense in trying to figure out who exactly the president, in the waning days of his administration would select.. the most likely being called “corchaladas”… can-openers… as in the CANdidate waiting to be”opened” by the president.

The 2000 election… although Vicente Fox was a terrible president… did mean a change in the system. Not that the PAN candidate’s ideology would be all that different from his PRI rival (or his PRI predecesor) but that he was unable to coronate his sucessor. Fox’s preferences were ignored, and… while his party continued to hold the presidency and the neo-liberal path, Felipe Calderón sold himself to the party faithful as an opponent of Fox and his backers.

Never mind that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador … running on a coalition of his own Mexico City based PRD and a few smaller, leftist parties… probably won the election. Making the “error” of contesting the results, he was quickly written off by the pundit-class as a has-been. Perhaps, but AMLO tried again, with the same coalition (and the same results… a likely stolen election) in the 2012 election, this time with Calderon’s chosen sucessor rejected for what promised to be a “new” face, the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto.

Peña Nieto’s term was a disaster, but did accomplish one thing. It melded the rival mainstream parties into a broad neo-liberal coalition, which … in large part thanks to the President’s ineptitude and open corruption… left open the way for a broad front of the dissident, the dissatisfied, the disenfranchized: MORENA (National Movement for Regeneration) While it had been around, less as a party than as a “social movement” since 2011, after the 2012 election it registered as a party and by 2018 was the majority party, having united Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, the poor, union workers, environmentalists, Indigenous, Afro-Mexican and LGBTQ communities, “good government” types… and even some Evangelicals (although he professes to be Roman Cathoic, it’s well known that AMLO is rather abstentious, reads the Bible, and has attended Evangelical and Pentacostal services).

All of which… without going into the relative sucessess of his adminstration, has put AMLO back in the position of those presidents of the past whose chosen sucessor could be assumed to be the next president. Yes there is that opposition… though the PRI-PAN-PRD coalition (contempuously referred to as “PRIAND”) doesn’t seem to have any viable candidate, and the only other party outside the MORENA and friends (Workers Party and the Greens) … the Citizens’ Movement… at best could run a candidate simply to garner enough votes to qualify it to maintain its national registration.

So… who will AMLO choose? He claims no one… that it will be decided by polling the party members. If so, and given the four most likely … and all but officially declared candidates for MORENA’s nomination, we may already have the answer:

None of these candidates have quite the pizazzz as AMLO, and his “coattails” only go so far… absent the entire opposition able to field a single viable candidate. and able to capitalize on anti-Semitism, sexism, and (not to be discounted) US interferance (my sense is that IF the US accepts that MORENA is the only real choice, they’d rather have Ebrard, the present foreign minister, being more used to his style, and just more familiar with him)… then maybe it’s time to get used to Presidenta Sheinbaum:

Higher ambitions for Vicente Fox?

13 April 2023

Former President Vicente Fox — whose “autobiography” (likely written by Rob Allyn, or his PR team) “Revolution of Hope” (which I bought used for 10 pesos and can’t locate now) takes care to paint him as a simple son f the soil… er, one whose haciend-owning family was on the wrong side of the Revolution, butt humble and hard-working for all that simple farmers shipping their produce north of the border — might return to the agricultural sector. In a higher capacity.

Carrots and onions never go out of style, .. but there are other crops that offer a better return, and marijuana continues to enjoy thriving sales. Although being in the … uh… unregulated … agricultural export sector, it might be unseemly for a former president t be openly hawking his wares in public. Centrainly, Fox has pushed to chnage the legal situation. He severs, or has served, on the board of directors of both High Times magazine, and a Canadian “medical cannibis” firm. He also… it appears, snagged 25 of the 62 licenses to legally produce medical cannibis in expectation that Congress will eventually get around to writing the regulatory guidelines. FIVE DAYS BEFORE THE END OF THE PEÑA NIETO ADMINISTRATION!

Of course, Fox denies this, thoough… uhhh-uhhh.. donno man… yeah, maybe.

El Pais, “López Obrador afirma que Cofepris dio licencias a empresas vinculadas a Vicente Fox para vender derivados del cannabis” (11 April 2023)

Contralinea, “Multinacional Khiron, vínculo de Fox con permisos sobre marihuana” (12 April 2023)

López-Doriga Digital, “Reprobable e inmoral que Fox se dedique al negocio de cannabis: AMLO” (13 April 2023)

Chronicle of an overdose foretold?

12 April 2023

Europe’s heroin market could soon be in for a supply shock, and experts fear the gap could be filled by something much worse.

Almost all heroin consumed in Europe comes from Afghanistan, where the Taliban have imposed a ban on poppy cultivation that will take effect in the coming weeks.

The likely poppy shortage could make it more profitable for criminals to manufacture synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, to be sold to desperate addicts denied their hit of heroin.

Noah Alcala Bach, “Taliban poppy ban puts Europe on fentanyl alert“, Politico (30 Mqrch 2023)

Givcen what’s been said about the danger in the United States of fentinyl coming (allegedly) from Mexico (see post below), maybe it IS time to consider legalizing the opium and heroin trade. Harm reduction and less deaths from overdoses? Or… too logical?

Bomb Mexico… really? Or, something else.

11 April 2023

If only people like US Member of Congress, for Georgia Marjorie Taylor-Green, echoing the ravings of Donald Trump had been suggesting the US needs to “launch airtrikes on Mexico“… ostensively in reaction to the inability of the United States to get a handle on its fentenyl and opiate abuse issues ., , this could be laughed off… but it isn’t.

Rerpublican Party member of Congress have been swift to join Taylor-Greene.

The Chair of the House Oversight Committee, James Comer, apparently suggested bombing Mexican “drug labs” during his previous position within the Trump Administration. Although Comer has refused to comment on the allegation, “The GOP chairman’s extreme pronouncements are part of a bigger push by House Republicans to appear tough on border issues”.

While such calls, mostly from Republicans, to “brand” (ill-defined) Mexican “cartels”(and, with the kidnapping and murder of US citizens in Matamoros… for reasons that are still unclear…the calls include powerful Senators, Lindsay Graham and John Kennedy) as foreign “terorists”. This would — at least from the United State’s (and several of the more powerful nations around the world) give the US a self-proclaimed right to use military force in Mexico.

Trump’s Former Attorney Geneval, Bill Barr, following his former boss in comparing the so-called “cartels” to ISIS, also speaks with open disdain of AMLO’s “abrazos no balazos” policies (best not translated as “hugs not bullets”, but “embrace, not erase”… basically provide the social and economic services to the population that makes criminal activity less attractive).

Which lends itself to the suggestion that fentinyl … in itself … is not what is really bothering US policy makers.

Simultenously… and probably not by accident… his has been coupled with moves by both the State Department and and various US “think tanks” and CIA cut-outs like the Natinal Endowment for Democracy to reframe the recent political reforms in Mexico (espcially in the electoral bureaucracy) as an “assault on Democracy” there is a very real sense that the US… Democrats and Republicans… are both attempting to stem Mexico’s move towards the international left.

Following the relatively large demonstrations in late February organized by the parties of the opposition (mostly PAN and PRI, though apparently the handiwork of Mexico’s one-man version of the Koch Brothers, Claudio X. Gonzales and his “Va Por Mexico” movement (or is it now Unid@s?… he keeps changing the name as his various sponored organizations fall apart, or fail to take off) ostenively in defense of the present structure of the Electoral Institute (INE for its initials in Spanish), tweeted out a message suggesting that the present government is somehow “undemocratic”… short-hand US diplo-speak for “We want to save you from yourselves — an argument picked up by neo-conservative “influencers” David Frum and Anne Applebaum in their house-organ, The Atlantic.

Perhaps those of you obsessed with “drug cartels” should be more concerned with the recent conviction of General Garcia Luna after an abbreviated trial… Garcia Luna’s protectors and promotors going back to the Clinton Administration’s Ambassador to Mexico, Jeffrey Davadow, and his support by every CIA, DEA,State Department since the Clinton Administration, there is every reason to assume the trial was cut short BEFORE Garcia Luna could testify about US connectins and tacit support for the “cartels”. There’s not much need to note that “cartels” couldn’t function without functionaries within the US (perhaps including the so-called “deep state”) to distribute the goods, and handle receivables.

While so far, the Biden administration has “poo-pooed” the simplistic “bomb Mexico” talk, one doesn’t need to put on a tin-foil hat to recognize a two-pronged attack on Mexican polical independence, with people like Greene and Lindsay Graham getting the attention while the overt support for the Mexican right by the US government is just overlooked… similar in ways the Obama Administration (and Sec of State Hillary Clinton) worked to undermine left leaning Paraguay… and justify a coup in Honduras.

Mexico’s adminstration has been firing back at the outrageous and frankly stupid “kill ’em all, and let the Lord sort ’em out” (as have others — here and here, for example) to much less publicity in the United States. And… perhaps… not publicized to let people overlook that fentinyl is something of a stalking horse for what the United States really wants from Mexico: backing away from nationalization of it’s resources, and the on-going “demand” that it buy corn from midwestern (and Republican leaning) exporters. Coupled, of course, with Mexico’s independent foreign policies, and the strong liklihood that the next Mexican adminstration will deepen and broaden the “Fourth Transformation”.


Donald J Trump, “President Donald J. Trump Declares War on Cartels” video (Trump Make America Great Again, 5 January 2023)

David Badash, “Marjorie Taylor Greene calls for US military strikes on Mexico” (Raw Story, 6 March 2023)… link in text

Josh Christenson, “Bill Barr likens Mexican drug cartels to ISIS, demands Biden send military” (New York Post, 3 March 2023

Natalie Kitoeff, “Más de 100.000 personas protestan en México contra las modificaciones al INE” (New York Times, 26 February 2023)

William P. Barr, “The U.S. Must Defeat Mexico’s Drug Cartels” (Wall Street Journal, 2 March 2023)

Kurt Hackworth, “No AMLO is Not Undermining Mexican Democracy” (Jacobin, 4 March 2023)

David Frum, “The Autocrat Next Door” (The Atlantic, 21 February, 2023).

Anne Applebaum, “How Do You Stop Lawmakers From Destroying the Law?” (The Atlantic, 1 March 2023).

Maciek Wisniewski, “Democracia estadunidens” (la Jornada, 4 March 2023)

Hernán Gómez Bruera, “Lorenzo y la ”mafia electoral‘” (El Universal, 3 March 2023)

Jennifer Benderey, “House GOP Chairman Calls It ‘A Mistake’ That Trump Didn’t Bomb Meth Labs In Mexico” (Huffington Post, 7 March 2023)

“Avanza proyecto de republicanos de EU para declarar como terroristas a cárteles mexicanos” (Forbes, 8 March 2023)

Fareed Zakaria “Mexico’s populist demagogue president is gutting fair elections” (Washington Post, 10 March 2023)

Ottenberg, Eve, “Some Congress Members Need to Sit Down and Shut Up” (Counterpunch, w1 March 2023)

Christopher Fettweis, “Ripping up Trump’s ‘battle plan’ of attack on Mexico’s cartels” (Responsible Statecraft, 3 April 2023)

Eric Martin and Jennifer A. Dlouhy, “Business Urge Biden to Use ‘Every Tool’ in Mexico Eneergy Spat” (Bloomburg, 10 March 2023)

Phillip Linderman. “Close the Border to Change Mexico’s Policies” (American Conservative, 29 March 2023)

Jude Russo, “Mexican Catechism” (American Conservative, 5 April 2023)

Alexander Ward, “GOP embraces a new foreign policy: Bomb Mexico to stop fentanyl” (Politico, 10 April 2023)

Isabella González, “López Obrador llama “oportunistas” a los republicanos que proponen el uso del Ejército estadounidense para combatir a los cárteles,” (El País, 9 March 2023)

“AMLO vive en negación sobre narco.- Graham” (Reforma, 3 April 2023)

Reuters, “4 claves de la disputa por el maíz transgénico entre México y Estados Unidos” (El Economista, 4 March 2023)

The curse… and precusors

7 April 2023

While no one doubts the seriousness of the “fentinyl crisis! in the United States, thw typical reaction has been… like that common to all addicts in dcnial.. to “blame others”. The “others de jour” being the old favorite, Mexico.. and China. Offically, both states reject US claims of flooding the United States with their new drug of choice, suggesting (not so subtly) that the US needs to figure out the reasons people feel the need to use the product in the first place. Probably too much to ask.

Instead, the US is going for prohibition of what is, or intended as, a useful surgical anesthetic and post-operative pain reliever. And, here, the Mexicans and Chinese are… while not in any sense lying… are in a bit of denial themselves. And letting the Canadians off the hook (though I’ve yet to hear of any US politicians suggesting drone attacks on Canada) So called “precursor” chemicals are shipped to Mexico and Canada, along with the United States. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to whip up a batch of the stuff. And even if one did cut off, and control, exports of 4-anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (ANPP) and N-phenethyl-4-piperidone (NPP), substitues are readily available. If one recalls Breaking Bad, the sad-sack Jesse Pinkman was already an estabilished member of the DEA … “Drug Enhancement Agency” … ong before Walter White came along to refine the process.

“The most common synthesis route for fentanyl uses two key precursor chemicals: 4-anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (ANPP) and N-phenethyl-4-piperidone (NPP). ANPP is a Schedule II controlled substance, and NPP is a List I precursor chemical. As common precursor chemicals come under tighter international scrutiny, illicit actors are exploring alternative methods of making fentanyl and buying chemicals to make their own precursors. These chemicals include propionic anhydride—a List I precursor chemical—piperidone, propionyl chloride, and aniline.”

U.S. Department of State, “21st Century Drug Trafficking: “Manufacturing Advisory” on Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids (Tab A)” (2019)

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