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World News

Mexican president says does not accept all of Trump drug report

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday said he did not accept everything his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump put in a memorandum that threatened to designate Mexico as failing in the fight against drugs without verifiable results.

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers his second state of the union address at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero

“It is an opinion, basically,” Lopez Obrador told his regular news conference. “It has good things, and other things that we don’t accept.”

He added he would not seek confrontation over the matter, noting that the United States is in a presidential campaign period.

Trump’s memorandum, published on Wednesday, called on Mexico to do more to combat the production and smuggling of illicit drugs, including ramping up drug seizures and prosecutions of smugglers.

“Unless the Mexican government demonstrates substantial progress in the coming year backed by verifiable data, Mexico will be at serious risk of being found to have failed demonstrably to uphold its international drug control commitments,” the document said.

When asked if Mexico could potentially lose U.S. funding over the matter, Lopez Obrador said that was not the case.

“We’re working every day. We don’t have any weight on our conscience,” he said.

In another sign of friction between the neighbors, Mexico’s foreign ministry formally requested information from U.S. authorities on Wednesday about alleged abuses in immigration detention centers.

Trump’s memorandum also called on Mexico to step up efforts against fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid blamed for thousands of overdose deaths in the United States every year.

“The Mexican government should acknowledge the alarming trend of fentanyl production inside its territory,” the document said.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

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