Mexican authorities seized nearly half a ton of fentanyl in a single seizure on July 4, making it the country’s largest seizure, Mexico’s Defense Ministry announced Wednesday.
The “historic” seizure contained 542.72 kilograms of fentanyl, according to the Defense Ministry. Using the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) metric that 1 kilogram has the power to kill 500,000 people, the seizure would be enough to kill over 271,000,000 people, almost enough to kill Indonesia’s entire population.
The seizure occurred in Sinaloa, Mexico, where one of Mexico’s largest cartels, Sinaloa, has historically had control, according to the DEA.
“With these actions, the Mexican Army, the National Guard and the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic endorse their commitment to ensure and safeguard the well-being of citizens, contributing to the Government of Mexico to guarantee peace and security for Mexicans,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Mexican cartels synthesize fentanyl in clandestine labs, pressing the powder form of the drug into pill form and trafficking it across the U.S. Southern border, according to a 2020 intelligence report.
In the report, the DEA classified the Mexican drug cartels as “the greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States.”
“They control most of the U.S. drug market and have established varied transportation routes, have advanced communications capabilities, and hold strong affiliations with criminal groups and gangs in the United States,” the report noted.
In 2021, nearly 108,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in the U.S. that were mainly caused by fentanyl.
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