TIJUANA (Border Report) — Two journalists south of the border uncovered a shocking trend while investigating the homeless and fentanyl use: Drug cartels are widely producing fentanyl in the nooks and drains within the Tijuana River canal just south of the border, and the homeless are being used as human guinea pigs to test the drug’s potency, which has left many taking part in these experiments dead.

An investigation in Tijuana revealed drug cartels are not only manufacturing fentanyl, but they are giving it to the homeless who live along the Tijuana River canal just south of the border as a way to survey the effects of the drug. Many of the homeless taking part in these human experiments have died after overdosing on the free fentanyl. (Photos by Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

Journalist Manuel Ayala and photographer Joebeth Terriquez witnessed distributors driving up and giving away fentanyl to the homeless people along the banks of the canal.

The drug is a synthetic pain killer said to be 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. When mixed with heroin, as most of the homeless do according to Ayala, it is said to induce a very powerful high.

“They give it away to see how the drug effects people, how they react to it once they take it,” said Ayala, whose investigation was recently published by the Buzos de la Noticia Magazine in Baja California.

Ayala said these experiments with the homeless help cartels design even stronger fentanyl, and most of it ends up in the United States.

According to the National Institute on Drug Use, fentanyl has killed more Americans than any other drug in recent years.

Meantime, some of the homeless taking part in these experiments are also dying.

In recent months, according to Ayala, at least 20 people have died from an overdose after taking the free fentanyl. He believes the number is much higher since police don’t go out of their way to investigate overdoses.

“Unfortunately the police and society don’t care about these people and we don’t really know who dies and how many have died.”

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