The Counterterrorism Blog has a disturbing report. In early March, An American official with the Transportation Safety Board was in Mexico to inspect the security of Mexican airports. During his visit he was beaten. By Mexican police.
This official…left his hotel room in Tijuana, Mexico on Friday evening and crossed the street to buy his daughter a gift. While returning from the gift shop he was accosted by two Mexican police officers. They pulled the U.S.Federal agent into an alley and beat him while demanding $1,000.
The man’s attempts to get away not only failed, his efforts landed him in jail until he was rescued the next day by the US Embassy. After his release he was returned to the US under the protection of an armed convoy.
Beside the emotional trauma inflicted on him by greedy,corrupt Mexican police officers, the U.S. agent suffered serious nerve damage to his hands. To make matters worse he faces possible retaliation from his own Government. Instead of lodging a forceful protest with the Mexican Government,the U.S. State Department is trying to keep the matter quiet. TSA, rather than stand up for its people, is blaming the Agent who was so viciously attacked for causing the incident “because he left his hotel room after dinner”.
This is not the first incident with US citizens in Mexico. As Larry Johnson points out, the White House and the State Department have responded with “deafening silence.” Not so much as the courtesy of a public warning to anyone traveling to Mexico.
America deserves better treatment from its leaders.
Terrorism exists at many levels and many intensities. Obviously, as lawlessness is increasingly accepted at the borders, it follows that American citizens abroad are also increasingly at risk. They are simply aspects of the same perception that the US tolerates unruly, anarchic behavior directed at its citizens and its boundaries. As long as this situation continues, expect foreign travel to become less pleasant and more perilous.
While the President turns a blind eye to the near events, The Gates are moving closer.
Soon, if government does not protect its people, vigilance driven by extremity will become an individual matter.
Update: Apologies are in order regarding the statements above concerning the State Department’s lack of warnings to Americans traveling in Mexico. According to USA Today,
On Jan. 21 the department cautioned Americans about the Matamoros area. Five days later, it broadened the announcement to cover the entire border with Mexico.
See comments below.
Thanks for adding CUANAS to your blogroll. It is an honor to me. Your blog is exceptional.
You and your cohort do a great job and you tackle subjects that I’m not seeing on other blogs.
By the way, just so you’ll know, CUANAS stands for Christians United Against the New Anti-Semitism.
Until somebody can find another source besides that counter terrorism blog, I’m considering this heresay. No names, no dates, no anything.
It’s a good point, Eric, but there are some things that ring true. The blame the victim attitude that prevails at many levels, the deafening silence with respect to Mexico.
I think the reason that we don’t do anything about Mexico, is that we still live in the myth that they are good neighbors. There is a lot of commerce that currently depends on a relatively open border, or at least would create a great stink if the borders were made less porous.
I have seen a number of articles that discuss the corruption in Mexico, and I spent time on a plane with a business man that says Mexico City is the most dangerous place to visit these days for US business people. There is a major kidnapping for ransom movement going on.
I have also seen articles saying that Vincente Fox is little better than the crooks he replaced. President Bush is still maintaining a fiction that we and Mexico are good buddies.
To me it adds up to a fairly high probability that it is true.
Eric, I read the article. Friday evening, March 4th, was when it occurred. There are other details as well. I’m not worried too much about names.
I take back part of what I said: the US government is indeed warning tourists re conditions on the border and in Mexico:
On Jan. 21, the department cautioned Americans about the Matamoros area. Five days later, it broadened the announcement to cover the entire border with Mexico.
At least 27 U.S. citizens have been abducted or have vanished along Mexico’s border with Texas over the past six months, caught in what U.S. officials have described as an escalating turf war between competing drug lords. Fourteen have been released; two have been found dead. The fate of the others is unknown. By contrast, three or four such abductions were reported each year since 2000.
Yvette Martinez, 27, and Brenda Cisneros, 23, friends from Laredo, Texas, went to hear Mexican singer Pepe Aguilar in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, in mid-September and have not been heard from since; Gerardo Contreras, 18, from San Antonio has been missing since May, when he went into the Mexican town of Piedras Negras to attend his sister’s baby shower; and Charles Rogers, an oncologist from Brownsville, Texas, was abducted at his clinic here and released only after his wife paid a hefty ransom.
Now, Eric, there are names and dates for you. If you’re a betting man, I’m on for a wager re the immaculate conception of the Mexican police.