Greater quantities of the synthetic opioid fentanyl directly enter the United States and Canada than Mexico, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, pushing back against US criticism of his record combating the lethal drug.
Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller blamed for fueling a surge in US drug overdoses, and some Republican lawmakers have urged Washington to authorise the use of military force in Mexico to bring the country's drug gangs to heel.
Last month, Anne Milgram, head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, told US lawmakers that Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel and rival Jalisco New Generation Cartel were responsible for the "vast majority" of fentanyl coming into the US.
US envoy to travel to Panama, Honduras in coming days
Tegucigalpa - A high-ranking envoy of President Joe Biden will travel to Panama and Honduras this month, the US Department of State said, days after Honduras said it would establish formal diplomatic ties with China.
Chris Dodd, the US special presidential adviser for the Americas, will visit the two Central American nations from March 17-21, the State Department said in a statement.
Dodd, a former lawmaker, will meet with Honduran officials and private-sector representatives, officials and finance leaders in Panama, as well as attend the Inter-American Development Bank annual conference.
El Salvador Congress again extends anti-gang crackdown
San Salvador - El Salvador's Congress passed yet another extension suspending some constitutional rights amid the Central American country's year-long crackdown against gangs.
The emergency powers allow arrests without warrants, government access to private communications and detentions without the right to a lawyer.
El Salvador has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Last month, it opened a controversial 40,000-person prison - one of the world's largest such facilities - to relieve overpopulation as the crackdown is expected to continue.
Colombia to send Petro-backed labor reform to Congress
Bogota - Colombia's government is expected to present a labour reform bill to Congress that would reduce working hours and boost overtime pay, but critics say the measures could hurt job creation.
The bill is part of a raft of reforms being pushed by President Gustavo Petro, the country's first leftist leader, as he focuses on fighting poverty.
Argentina's latest data on rising inflation "very bad"
Buenos Aires - Argentina's government described inflation data registered in February, the highest since 1991, as "very bad," but insisted that the 60% inflation rate forecast in this year's budget would be met, the president's spokeswoman said.
President Alberto Fernandez has struggled to rein in one of the world's highest inflation rates, which has put increasing pressure on Argentine consumers.
The latest data shows the government falling behind its targets for the year as key October elections approach when the ruling center-left Peronist government faces an uphill battle to hold on to power.