Video: Mexican Government Shows Philadelphia Street Scenes in Anti-Drug Ads

Mexican Government Shows Philadelphia Street Scenes in Anti-Drug Ads

The Mexican government used videos of homeless people and drug users in Philadelphia’s beleaguered Kensington neighborhood in an advertising campaign to try to steer young people away from drugs.

The Mexican government is using videos of homeless people and drug users outdoors in Philadelphia’s beleaguered Kensington neighborhood in a national advertising campaign to try to steer young people away from drugs.

The spots never identify the city or neighborhood shown. But it’s not clear how or why the Mexican government decided to use US street scenes to scare Mexicans, who have their own drug problems.

Critics say the ads recycle drug scare tactics instead of offering help or treatment.

Jesús Ramírez, the spokesman for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, proudly introduced the series of announcements on Tuesday, however, Ramírez has not clarified where the government obtained the Philadelphia videos or why it used them.

The use of the videos, in addition to raising concerns about the image of Philadelphia, or whether those filmed had consented, raised questions, in part because Mexico is the source of most of the fentanyl sold in the United States.

In an ad released Tuesday titled “Crystal” (meth), a Spanish-speaking narrator says, in a voiceover over scenes of drug users shivering or writhing along trash-strewn Kensington Avenue, “Crystal kills you quickly, it removes hunger and tiredness and causes hallucinations and psychosis. She harms the body and the mind.”

The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office acknowledged the drug problem but said it is not limited to one city or neighborhood, noting that all people are capable of “hope, healing and resilience.”

“The opioid and overdose crisis in Philadelphia is part of a national and even international epidemic, and we agree that it is important for everyone to understand, as this video points out, that all street drugs now present an elevated risk of overdose. due to the extreme prevalence of fentanyl,” said a spokesman for Mayor Jim Kenney.

“Having said that, it’s always hard to see the people and neighborhoods of our city represented in a limited and negative way. No neighborhood, no person, should be defined by this tragic and pervasive crisis,” they said.

Another Mexican ad shows scenes of drug users or homeless people slumped or standing unsteadily in Kensington, who can be identified by road signs in the videos.

Only one of the government’s anti-drug ads, one that focused on glue sniffing, used recognizably Mexican street imagery. Other scenes show people wearing sweatshirts that say “California” and “Barcelona.”

“These are terrible announcements, they are really terrible,” said Alejandro Hope, a security analyst from Mexico. “They are poorly thought out, poorly produced and are the result of bad public policy. There is no public health message there.”

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.