Mexican Kidnappers Menace Yanks

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2009 8:10 AM CDT
A shoe sits in the area where fragmentation grenades exploded in Morelia in western Mexico.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Mexican drug gangs are increasingly targeting Americans, kidnapping them in border towns and, even more disturbingly, US cities like Las Vegas and even Atlanta, Mary A. Fischer writes in Men’s Journal. Ironically, higher post-9/11 border security and Mexico's crackdown on drug cartels has hurt drug sales, forcing competing bands of drug dealers to turn to ransoms for money. “It’s open season on just about anyone," said a former FBI agent.

“Even if you don’t want to cooperate with the mob, you don’t have a choice,” said a Tijuana cop. “They’ll kill you.” That "deal you can't refuse" approach keeps Mexican police in the dark, and has soured one kidnapped American family on Mexico for good. “They robbed us of something more precious than physical stuff,” said one woman whose family was terrorized by gunmen on a trip to Baja. “We loved Mexico, and now we’ll never go back.”