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Cuellar Talks Meeting With Mexican President

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador | Image by Octavio Hoyos/Shutterstock

U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) returned Tuesday from Mexico City, where he went as part of a bi-partisan congressional delegation that spoke with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Led by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), the delegation discussed with Obrador several pressing issues, including drug trafficking, migration, trade, and the security of Americans visiting Mexico.

The delegation also included Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), and Maria Salazar (R-FL), along with Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Peter Welch (D-VT).

“We had a very different type of meeting with the president,” said Cuellar, per the Laredo Morning Times. “Instead of hearing somebody speak for 30 minutes and maybe asking one or two questions, we literally sat with him for over four hours.”

“It was the president, his cabinet, and the [delegation],” he continued. “He didn’t get up. He was there the whole time. The cabinet members responded, and then we had lunch with him. Even at lunch he was taking questions.”

Fentanyl trafficking was a major topic of conversation, according to Cuellar.

“We kept it as diplomatic as possible and said we need your help in stopping the fentanyl from coming in,” said Cuellar. He added that “one of the most important statements” President Obrador made was his pledge to “ask China officially to stop sending the precursors and the fentanyl to Mexico,” per the Laredo Morning Times.

Cuellar said the Mexican president “realizes there is a problem.”

“This is good, because China was working with the U.S. on fentanyl, then because of tariffs we put on them, one of the things they are doing is they are not working with us on fentanyl,” he continued, per the Laredo Morning Times.

The delegation reportedly discussed the technological difficulties in detecting fentanyl.

“We know the routes of where they are going in. A lot of them are coming through our commercial trucks, and that is why that technology is very important,” said Cuellar, according to the Laredo Morning Times. “But the technology we had was set up to look for cocaine bags or marijuana. Now you’re talking about putting pills, and it’s a lot harder.”

The delegation also discussed abductions of Americans — specifically the recent case of four Americans who were kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico, as reported by The Dallas Express.

Cuellar said Obrador pledged to work with the United States on this problem as much as possible.

“We know there are some states where it is too dangerous to go including Tamaulipas,” Cuellar explained, according to the Laredo Morning Times. “There are certain states that are very dangerous, and that’s why those travel warnings are very important.”

“On the Mexican side, they are saying, ‘We’re going to work with you and try to provide security for everybody, not only Americans but for everybody,'” he continued. “As we know the reality is there are some states where security is difficult.”

Responding to Cuellar’s comments, Roger Shafer, director of programming for the Dallas Young Republicans, said to The Dallas Express, “If we were a serious country, we would force Mexico to destroy the cartels.”

“If we were a serious country we would defend the sovereignty of our nation,” he continued. “China is serious about destroying us and we can’t even agree that the fentanyl crisis should be addressed.”

“Until this changes, we aren’t a serious country,” Shafer concluded.

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