Uncle Sam’s Hysteria

The U.S. government tells its employees to avoid unnecessary travel along the border and in parts of Michoacán. Now it’s “authorized the departure of the dependents of U.S. government personnel from U.S. consulates in the Northern Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros until April 12.” What, the U.S. government was holding the family members of government personnel hostage? And after the window for their departure closes on April 12, they’re stuck in Mexico? Just what is it that I’m missing here?

Earlier this week, more than a few friends called, shaking in their boots over Dateline’s dramatization of a 2007 kidnapping of a very wealthy Mexican in San Miguel de Allende, his family’s retreat to somewhere within an hour of Washington, D.C., and a whopping big fiesta they threw for select friends and Dateline’s film crew upon a quick trip back to Mexico. Even though the Washington Post and Marie Claire stories, more than a year and a half after the victim’s release, made it sound as if the family was now living in the witness protection program, ZabaSearch turned up their whereabouts in Gaithersburg, Maryland. They’re on the speaker circuit, calling themselves “well-positioned to speak about the geo-political implications of the Mexican drug trade, cartels and terrorists on border safety and U.S.-Mexico relations.”

Amidst all of the media’s attempts to frighten the daylights out of everyone living in Mexico, life goes on here in Michoacán. Today is a federal holiday, and Costco and Mega were packed to the gills with shoppers. The shopping centers were filled, and Starbucks had its usual crowd.

Billie Mercer and her husband Ned, Texans transplanted to San Miguel de Allende, flouted those warnings about highway dangers as they drove north to the border, going straight through the badlands. And did they ever see plenty of action—men playing golf, kids playing baseball.

Please, someone, tell the U.S. government and the U.S. media to chill.


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2 comments on “Uncle Sam’s Hysteria

  1. Steve Cotton says:

    That “someone” very well may you — and you just did.
    I saw the Dateline piece after an hysteric posted it on a message board with a warning that now all of us need to be more careful. More careful than what?
    But then maybe there is something magic about that 12 April date. It is certainly close enough to tax day that most of us will not have enough wealth to be of any interest to kidnappers.


  2. Ray says:

    I’ve learned a lot about Juarez lately.
    Most of the killings there are being carried out by gangs that originated and are controlled in El Paso — the safest of cities.
    That’s because the dirty work can be easily get tossed over the border, and another lost immigrant or a deported Cholo can earn 2000 pesos a week to play thug and kill or get killed.
    These are the “civilians killed”, who make Juarez and the rest of Mexico — since it’s all the same thing– look like Iraq on paper.


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