Illegal heroin and fentanyl exports from Mexico to the United States are on the rise, according to World Drug Report 2017 compiled by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and backed by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Speaking in Mexico City, as the report, which tracks narcotics consumption and production throughout the world, was released Thursday, INCB President Raul Martin del Campo noted the significant increase of drug use around the world, highlighting the harvest and trafficking of illicit drugs in and from South America.
“Poppy harvest that you see in so many countries throughout South America, as you do in Mexico, en route to the United States has increased by a significant amount as registered in the report,” he said. “Fentanyl precursors have also been detected as entering the country, and that is having a consequence with respect to the composition of these drugs that are being exported illegally.”
Fentanyl interceptions skyrocket
Seizures of fentanyl, a significant contributor to the epidemic of overdose deaths, by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection increased from less than 1 kilogram in 2013 to about 200 kilograms in 2016, the INCB said.
Three-quarters of the cocaine consumed in Mexico comes from Mexico and Central America, the report noted.
Mexico is under increasing pressure to combat drug trafficking after more than 25,000 homicides were recorded last year across the country as rival drug gangs increasingly splintered into smaller, more violent groups.