- Banners in Sinaloa, Mexico, purportedly from El Chapo’s sons, declare a halt to the sale and production of fentanyl.
- Experts, including former DEA head Mike Vigil, are skeptical, labeling the move as “pure propaganda.”
- Fentanyl overdose deaths in the U.S. last year totaled 75,000 out of 109,680 drug-related fatalities.
Banners have suddenly emerged throughout the district of Sinaloa, Mexico, seemingly signaling a shift in the narcotics landscape. These banners, allegedly from the notorious Sinaloa cartel, declare an end to the trafficking of the synthetic opioid, fentanyl.
Their authenticity, however, remains in question.
What is even more surprising is that these declarations are reportedly backed by none other than the sons of the jailed kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
The banners boldly state, “In Sinaloa, the sale, manufacture, transport or any other business dealing with fentanyl, is strictly prohibited, including the sale of chemicals used to produce it. You have been warned. Respectfully, Chapitos.”
However, the declaration raises eyebrows, especially among experts familiar with the drug trade. Mike Vigil, ex-head of international operations for the DEA, quickly labeled it a potential smokescreen.
According to him, “Sinaloa is the biggest producer of fentanyl in Mexico.”
Vigil went on to dismiss this sudden display of ‘ethics’ by the cartel, stating, “It’s almost like a big campaign to convince the US they’re not involved. It’s nothing more than pure propaganda.”
Furthermore, Vigil highlighted the fiscal lure of fentanyl for cartels, noting that it’s a “big money maker.”
He reasons that it would be illogical for the cartel to halt such a profitable venture, as it could strengthen rival gangs, potentially giving competitors like the Jalisco gang an economic upper hand.
In an intriguing twist, Ovidio Guzman, one of El Chapo’s offspring, was recently extradited to the U.S. on fentanyl trafficking charges. The US Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed the extradition, emphasizing the commitment of the U.S. to combat the opioid crisis. Guzman’s extradition has fueled speculation that the cartel’s cessation of fentanyl production might be true.
Reports from Milenio indicate messages were circulated among drug dealers urging them to “stand down.”
One such message stated, “The decision comes from the top, from the brothers, and any person who is surprised to disobey will be punished.”
Some sources suggest that cartel members who did not comply with the new directive faced grave consequences. A drug dealer cited instances where “Los Chapitos started to kill their own sellers” who defied the ban.
By his account, non-compliance resulted in at least 10 individuals either being murdered or abducted since the start of the year.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first instance where the Chapitos have denied involvement in the fentanyl trade.
A May letter from the brothers claimed their innocence, stating, “We have never produced, manufactured or commercialized fentanyl nor any of its derivatives. We are victims of persecution and have been made into scapegoats.”
It’s worth noting the harrowing statistics on overdose deaths in the U.S., which last year alone, amounted to 109,680.
A staggering 75,000 of these fatalities were associated with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, underscoring the severity of the crisis and the potential impact of the cartel’s claims.
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