Migration and fentanyl, axes of the Biden-López Obrador summit

Yesterday, Joe Biden and Andrés Manuel López Obrador addressed, on the sidelines of the APEC summit in San Francisco, the issue of fentanyl trafficking, the synthetic drug that causes havoc in American cities, and the migratory drama on the border between both countries. .

Smiling and good-humored, Biden and López Obrador shook hands in San Francisco when they met aside from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) meeting.

Biden thanked López Obrador for his “cooperation” to address “historic levels of migration.”

“I know it’s not easy,” said the American president.

The thorny issue of migration will play a key role in the US presidential elections next year. Biden will likely seek re-election against Donald Trump, who dedicates a good part of his campaign platform to defending policies against migration and the tightening of punitive measures on the more than 3,100 kilometers of border that the countries share.

The United States closed the fiscal year with record numbers of encounters on its southern border. The increase in the migratory flow was driven in part by the thousands of Venezuelans fleeing the political and economic crisis in the country governed by Nicolás Maduro. Hundreds of thousands of people travel migratory routes that end in Mexico to the foot of the wall that separates them from their northern neighbor.

“I couldn’t have had a better partner than you,” Biden said. López Obrador returned the compliments, saying that Biden “is the first president in recent times to open legal avenues for migration. He is an extraordinary president.”

Both governments maintain constant exchanges to discuss how to address the crisis that also sparks a political confrontation in the United States, where Republicans accuse Democrat Biden’s administration of being lax on its borders.

Recently, his government approved resuming the construction of the wall in some sectors of the border with Mexico and has started deportation flights to Venezuela and Cuba, among other countries.

Likewise, Biden is questioned by civil society organizations and spokespersons for the Latin community who consider that his actions do not distance themselves from the anti-immigration policy of Trump, his predecessor.

Fentanyl. Brian Nichols, top figure in US diplomacy for Latin America, highlighted the “growth of our vibrant economic cooperation with Mexico, and the expansion of cooperation on other topics.”

“Mexico is committed to continuing to support not allowing the introduction of chemicals and fentanyl; “We are very aware of the damage it causes to young people in the United States,” López Obrador said yesterday. “It is an act of solidarity.”

The Mexican president, who is not very frequent in this type of international commitments in which he is usually represented by his Foreign Ministry, arrived at the APEC forum with an extensive agenda of bilateral meetings.

He began with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, with whom he also discussed the issue of fentanyl and before whom he “emphasized the importance of reaching an agreement to exchange information on shipments leaving Asia,” his foreign ministry said. The synthetic opioid, also at the center of the conversations between Biden and López Obrador, has caused tens of thousands of deaths in the United States, where some sectors accuse Mexican cartels of being responsible for its commercialization.

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