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The US Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, defended cooperation with Mexico in the fight against narcotics before a Senate committee on Tuesday, despite the fact that he considers that there are parts of the country controlled by cartels.

Mayorkas was asked by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in the Upper House Judiciary Committee whether he agreed with the statements made last week by the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who denied that there were parts of his country under the control of the cartels.

“Do you agree with him?” Graham asked, to which Mayorkas replied: “I don’t.”

Immediately afterwards, the senator pointed out “Do you agree with Secretary (of State Antony) Blinken that there are parts of Mexico run by drug cartels?” Then, the head of National Security replied: “I am.”

Graham continued with his questions and asked Mayorkas if he considers Mexico “a trustworthy partner” in the fight against fentanyl and irregular migration, to which the government official recalled that they are working with the neighboring country “in the fight against fentanyl.

“We have achieved great cases together and we are looking to improve our cooperation,” he said.

This Tuesday, the person in charge of the anti-drug policy of the United States Department of State, Todd Robinson, travels to Mexico City to meet with the authorities of that country and participate in a forum on fentanyl.

The undersecretary of the Office of International Narcotics Affairs will be in the Mexican capital until Friday to inaugurate the United States-Mexico Conference on Synthetic Drugs, the State Department said in a statement.

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“The conference will focus on strengthening bilateral cooperation between the United States and Mexico to counter the threats to health and security posed by illicit synthetic drugs,” the note details.

During his stay in Mexico, Robinson will also hold meetings with Mexican government officials to discuss security issues.

The visit and the forum will take place after the criticism and the crossing of statements between the Government of Joe Biden and that of Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a result of the fight against drug trafficking.

Last week, Blinken congratulated Mexico for having seized record amounts of fentanyl, but also opined that there are areas of the country controlled by drug trafficking, something López Obrador denied.

“That is false, it is not true,” replied the Mexican president, who defended that “there is no place in the national territory where there is no presence of authority.”

The tension between the United States and Mexico has risen since two Americans were assassinated in the north of the Latin American country, after which the Republican opposition called for a military intervention in Mexican territory to combat the cartels, something that the White House has ruled out. EFE

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