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U.S. Sen. Capito discusses Mexico trip, RESTRICT Act

By Steven Allen Adams, Parkersburg News and Sentinel

CHARLESTON — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., briefed reporters Thursday on her recent trip to Mexico and a bill meant to limit the effects of social media apps and other tech products used by foreign governments.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito

Capito, R-W.Va., held one of her frequent virtual briefings with reporters Thursday afternoon from the Russell Senate Office Building on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building.Capito was part of a congressional delegation that traveled to Mexico over the weekend led by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. The delegation met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and intelligence officials.

The lawmakers were briefed on the security situation in Mexico, the kidnapping of four American citizens by a drug cartel resulting in the death of two of the Americans, the trafficking of illegal drugs and fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid used to lace other drugs, across the border, and the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

Capito said she raised concerns with Obrador about the flow of fentanyl from Mexico into the United States and the precursor chemicals coming into Mexico from China.

“We implored the president to be more aggressive with China to prevent these precursors from coming in to stop, hopefully, some of the manufacturing (of fentanyl) that is occurring with the cartels,” Capito said. “He actually said ‘I will forcefully talk with the Chinese about the issue.’ Hopefully, we can stop some of the flow or at least slow it down.”

The Department of Homeland Security announced this week a new initiative, Operation Blue Lotus, to crack down on fentanyl trafficking across the U.S.-Mexico border. The operation has already seized more than 200 pounds of fentanyl since the operation launched on March 13.

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