A former FBI deputy director is warning Americans that no place in Mexico is safe from cartels, following the kidnapping of four US citizens and the murder of two last week.
Latavia McGee and Eric Williams were found alive yesterday in a hideout near Matamoros, a border city in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas. McGee’s cousin Shaeed Woodard and her friend Zindell Brown were shot dead.
Their kidnapping is still under investigation, but US and Mexican authorities believe they were mistaken for a rival gang of human smugglers and captured by members of the Gulf Cartel.
Tamaulipas is among six Mexican states currently subject to US government no-travel advisories.
The others are Sinalola, Zacatecas, Michoacán, Colima and Guerrero. Thirty of Mexico’s 32 states are currently the subject of some type of warning or advisory from the United States government.
The only two states that are free of them are Yucatan and Campeche, near Cancun. The advice for Quintana Roo, which includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, is to exercise extreme caution.
These are the current travel advisories for Mexico from the United States government. Only two states, Yucatán and Campeche, are completely free of notices.
Military and National Guard vehicles are involved in an operation to transfer two of four US citizens kidnapped in crime-ridden northeastern Mexico to Brownsville, United States. Former government officials warn that no place in Mexico is safe for Americans due to cartel control over the country.
Former FBI Deputy Director Tom Fuentes said NewsNation that even what appear to be ‘safe’ resorts may not be as safe as many Americans think.
‘While you’re on the road, you’re vulnerable. Now, in this case, it looks like the cartels had set up a checkpoint, basically like a toll gate, that you had to go through.
‘And it looks like the van tried to drive past that. And that’s when the cartels opened fire,’ she said.
Nayyera Haq, a former national security adviser, added: ‘Most of Mexico is actually under the control of the cartels. The government does not control all the territory there.
‘Indeed, the Mexican government has been complicit for decades in ceding control. It is wonderful to travel abroad. It is not the same as traveling in the United States, no matter what offer or deal you may get.
“You have to understand what life is like for people in the countryside.”
Retired FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko has warned American tourists not to drive into Mexico and advised them to dress low once they get there.
‘Don’t drive across the border if you want to go to Mexico. Definitely go to Mexico, but be careful. Fly. Go to tourist areas. That is where you will be safest. He has that cell phone.
‘Let people know where you are. Don’t wear jewelry. Do not show cash.
“Don’t dress so much like an American in baseball team uniforms or football team uniforms,” he said.
Six states are currently under a “no travel” advisory. 30 are under some kind of warning
Lucky to be alive: Latavia McGee and Eric Williams were rescued yesterday from a hideout in Mexico after being kidnapped. His two friends were killed.
Senator Lindsey Graham is now championing a bill that would allow the US military to enter Mexico and “stabilize” the ongoing unrest.
“I would take Bill Barr’s advice and be tough on Mexico. It’s not just the hostages.
‘Number one, I would do everything possible to get them back. I would do what Trump did. He would put Mexico on notice.
‘If you continue to provide refuge to fentanyl drug dealers, then you are an enemy of the United States.
Senator Lindsey Graham defends a bill that would allow the US military to enter Mexico and act
“I would tell (the) Mexican government: ‘If you don’t clean up your act, we’ll clean up your act,'” he said in an interview with Fox News last night.
Military action across the border would require an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which can only be obtained if it passes Congress and is signed into law by the president.
Congress would need a two-thirds majority to impeach the president.
Others, including border town mayors, support Graham’s proposal.
“It will be the responsibility of the Mexican government to stabilize or let us help them stabilize,” McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos told NewsNation.
Others have called for the United States to finally “declare war” on the cartels.
Robert Almonte, a former US marshal, said foxnews yesterday: ‘We have to get angry and I’m waiting for more people to get angry.
“I am waiting for our White House to get angry that the Mexican government has failed its people, it is failing the United States and our citizens as well.
And it’s time we did something.