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Massive meth, fentanyl lab and other facilities raided by Mexican authorities

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According to the Associated Press, Mexican authorities raided a meth and fentanyl lab last week capable of processing 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg) of raw material at a time, the country’s federal Attorney General’s Office announced on Sunday. The sheer size of the facility left authorities in shock.

“In the Attorney General’s Office, we have no record of any seizure of equipment of this size before,” said Felipe de Jesus Gallo of the federal Attorney General’s Office. He also said that the lab had two-story-tall chemical preparation vats.

Last week, the “mega-lab” was discovered on the outskirts of Mexico City, CBS News reported. A fake storefront advertising industrial cleaning products was used to conceal the warehouse in which the lab was located. The warehouse housed 265-gallon tanks containing precursor chemicals as well as stacks of drums. According to Gallo, these chemicals can be used for manufacture methamphetamines and synthetic opioid fentanyl.

In addition to this warehouse, other sites across the country were also raided as part of the operation that was code-named “Blue.” Some of these other sites were located in the states of Durango and Sonora in the north, other parts of Mexico City, as well as in the surrounding State of Mexico.

A raid at another property in Mexico City saw the arrest of an engineer and the seizure of a drum of what is thought to be a fentanyl precursor and instructions on how to go about processing it. The engineer supposedly constructed and operated labs for an organized crime group.

Furthermore, another raid at a lab in Sonora discovered 290 kilograms (639.34 pounds) of meth, some of which was intended for shipment to the United States, said Gallo. The batch was said to have “a high level of purity.”

Authorities suspect that the group running this drug operation is one based out of Sinaloa, evidence of which linked all these raids together.

The intelligence gathered by Mexican marines points to the source of the fentanyl precursors as China but imported through a Hong Kong company, per CBS News. A multi-container shipment of these precursors reportedly entered through a port in Baja California after being shipped out from a port in Japan, the marines said they had tracked.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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