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Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador criticized a recent Reuters report that delved into disguising cartel drug profits as regular payments from the United States to Mexico.

The report, released last Friday, outlined a system where individuals in Mexico were paid by the Sinaloa Cartel to collect payments from the syndicate’s US operatives, subsequently delivering the drug-linked funds to cartel members.

Backing their claims, Reuters cited evidence from US federal court records, interviews with industry insiders, analysts, and law enforcement officials from both countries.

In response, López Obrador said, “Reuters, they are some deceivers, liars.” A spokesperson for Reuters maintained the integrity of their findings, stating, “We stand by our reporting.”

Under López Obrador’s administration, payments, primarily from migrant workers, surged with Mexico’s struggling economy and increased US migration. As a result, cartels found it simpler to camouflage their illicit earnings amongst the inflow of genuine payments. Contrary to the president’s claims that Reuters indicated “the majority of remittances are linked to the sale of drugs,” the news outlet specified that only an estimated 7.5% to 10% might be tied to illegal activity.

Payments, predominantly from the US, reached an unprecedented $58.5 billion in the previous year, marking a 74% rise since López Obrador’s 2018 commencement in office. The president has often acknowledged and praised migrant workers for this monetary contribution, which last year constituted 4.3% of Mexico’s GDP.


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