EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) --The Mexican Consulate spoke to ABC-7 about the impact of fentanyl on the border.
"Mexico is sorry about the crisis the U.S. is facing in terms of fentanyl," said Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de León, Consulate General of Mexico in El Paso. "We know that this is a problem that affects both sides of the border. Criminal organizations operate on both sides of the border."
The consulate wants people to know the consulate is just as invested in ending the fentanyl crisis as the U.S.
"There's a narrative going around of how Mexico is not doing enough in the fight against fentanyl, but we believe that that's on the contrary, no," said Ponce de León. "Members of our armed forces and security forces have died as a result of this fight. So we're very much into this into a very important strategy to fight fentanyl."
The consulate believes they have made progress in fentanyl defense.
"We have strengthened the presence of our security forces in ports and customs," said Ponce de León. "We need to collaborate and coordinate our efforts if we want to be successful. We we can jointly address what we both countries want to keep communities on both sides of the border safe. Safe against drugs, safe against weapons," said Ponce de León.
He says the U.S. and Mexico's combined efforts involve communication through a mechanism called the bicentennial understanding.
"This is where we discuss what we should be doing to fight fentanyl, but also what they, the U.S. should be doing in terms of fighting fentanyl. For also stopping weapons that come from the U.S. to Mexico and that give firepower to the criminal organizations that are doing all these traffickings of drugs into the US," said Ponce de León.