Cartels ban fentanyl sales in much of Mexico, but not in TJ
Great reporting as always. I agree that the US demand contributes to violence in Mexico, but Mexicans are in denial, especially in Tijuana, about the self inflicted spiritual violence of addiction that they suffer from. I was going down to the Zona for almost 20 years. I hung out with the “Ice” addicted , who can function, Except when they have slept for 72 hours. The many US deportees that populate the Zona where dropped into Mexico without a penny, after years in the States. They only way they could cope is with drugs. Even in the US, people complain that the homeless use drugs. I used some for a while when I was homeless, but I was lucky to not get addicted. But I know the tremendous weight of pain that being homeless brings. It’s almost unbearable feeling less then, hopeless and invisible
TY, Ioan. Have you ever watched - on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook ~~ Tales From the Street? The creator interviews homeless addicts with compassion, as he was once a homeless addict too. It's worth watching! This program interviews the homeless US Fentanyl pill addicts, seeing for real, it's absolutely flooding streets of Phoenix, LA - up the West coast to Seattle and further North even - and, no doubt, many cities I don't know.
Frustrating how easily the products can be made and distributed. I've read these US "Blues" or other- named fentanyls are 10x more powerful than heroin and 100x more powerful than morphine, but I am not fact checked in that - maybe you know.
I'm glad CJNG and other cartels banned fentanyl pills here in Mexico - except TJ - as you report. What awful situation with the deported homeless there!
I guess nature of rank & file-game on corruption, a secrecy kind of mentality, poverty, cartel know-how ~ that's Mexican lands almost unwittingly facilitating wicked severe drug addiction. Perhaps the Catholic mentality doesn't help: follow the rules, forgive all, fatalism. Then China is profit motivated as well, no scruples, apparently.
I read no news of the US government doing anything, or signs of awareness, about the various fentanyl pill smoking ruining lives and ending them, too. I'm guessing products are statistically effing in poverty areas or with homeless peoples, though anyone could take them. But when you're desperate, something this strong will jump. You just think, there for the grace of God go I. It's easy to slip in the US system, with little safety net, and less family structure, as we have in Mexico - but you're right, it's probably simply the fentanyl ban keeping it from our Mexican population.
The question is who profits from this new drug trend , last night i saw 4-5 drug users outside a drainage sewer with licor bottles provided by the Sin Cartel that owns tha next door table where most clients are Ca lic.plates and mixig it with drugs to cope with cold whether in the mountains is brought down in tricickes after beeing drop by planes you see this airforce flying without lights at midnights 100 ft high into canyons but the question is who profits since 50+ yrs ago with this taffiq well ex mayors ex governors relatives nw driving porches Gt-3 across the border as legal buissnes man CEO's when before they couln't buy a chesburger and ex customs directors that's why navy took over customs ports the past all live in Ca like ex tourism dpy dir.that spended 3'' billion pesos in nautical ports now rootting innbaja but hes living in A Joya Ca he sold the trash cocerionnof Tijuana where pepenadores cant work there anymore 50 kms from the city and made a million dlls and those pepenadores and deported empy trash bags everybnight to pick up trash where distribuitors of fentanyl provides them with income but trashing the city at ight the profits mostly end up in politicisns hands that eventualy live in Ca withmillions dlls so why not start seking this laudered capitals innCa.
This year fentanyl ODs deaths will reach 100K easy, most of them young Americans getting opioid poisoning without even acknowledging that the product they thought it was a certain type of drug is laced with fentanyl by the producers all along the supply chain, and act of war and terrorism itself.
I am very surprised of the lack of action by the US Federal administration on this issue that should be top priority, in a very diverse metrics and assessments I believe it’s a fully implemented effort to disrupt the american society and political environment (that’d explain why narcos aren’t pushing fentanyl within Mexico) they don’t want to poison their own people but “gringos”.
And I think is consequential of policies directed from China which lax policy on chemistry facilities and inherent ability of producers to relocate and produce in quite a short time makes the source of the whole issue, then we get to Mexico and it’s state of narco-military corrupt system which allows hundreds of tons of chemicals get through western coast ports and spread all across Mexico with full support from local, state and federal agencies in the country, and of course now the military in order to get the most of fentanyl inside America, and they’re very good at it!
It’s hybrid warfare these days, The US lost the most with COVID, and guess what now is the lead cause of the death under 35? Yeah, fentanyl.
I fear what is ahead if the US really wants at some point to fight back, ain’t gonna be pretty, heads will roll.
This was a great read. Have you seen Quinones's new piece on demand creation for fentanyl in the Washington Post?
Curious to see if anybody has explored the parallels of fentanyl and krokodil. 10 years ago it was the drug that was ravaging through Russia, with very similar impacts on users. It seems like Krokodil was almost rebranded and shipped over to the West.
Fentanyl is a scourge on society.
Excellent post and substack Ioan. Also really enjoying your book.
Do you know if anyone has tried to estimate the share of cartel profits from each drug? I would expect the profit (if not the revenue) overwhelmingly comes from opioids rather than stimulants. Curious if you’re aware of any credible attempts to figure that out.
I enjoyed this article - and all your writing. Is it a coincidence that the Washington Post ran a similar article today about a month after yours?
Best wishes from Minnesota.
Hi Ioan, really great article!
One thing I can't get my head around about fentanyl in general, is with it being so deadly even in very small doses, why is it so popular and why there is a market for it at all? Is it purely because it is a synthetic opioid that is very addictive and really cheap?
Is there a big market for fentanyl from users who actually know that they are buying it, or is it popular because it replicates heroin at a cheaper price and users a lot of the time don't know they are actually buying fentanyl?
There is a certain grim humor to the fact that the Cartels have realised Fentanyl is so bad for the user that they will not sell it in (most of) Mexico.
Really good piece, great read!
Thanks for an interesting report.
I am glad they are keeping it off the streets of most of México.
I wondered, a while back, if it would be lower risk for everyone, if the cartels made fentanyl inside the US. I guess manufacturing costs and risk of capture are lower in México.