With the four missing Americans that were recovered days back in Mexico, the US government said more than 550 Americans are still yet to be accounted for in Mexico. Interestingly, the Mexican government stated that more than 112,150 people are missing within the last five years and most of them are presumed dead, The Washington Post writes.
Many of the Americans that fall victim to kidnapping or violence by Mexico’s drug cartels are people who travel to the southern North American country for family visits, work, tourism, or cheap medical procedures. Many of the kidnapped victims are found dead and buried in shallow graves even after ransoms have been paid, and many just disappear into thin air and are never seen again.
Of the four Americans that were found earlier this week – two were found dead and two were found alive. The plight of the four Americans became public knowledge after a passerby made a video recording of several men in bulletproof vests dragging victims into a truck. This happened in Matamoros, a border town that is not far from the Rio Grande, and across Brownsville in Texas on the other side.
The video went viral and galvanized lawmakers in Washington to initiate diplomatic actions to recover the men after it was determined that they were Americans. The video spurred political debates across the country and ultimately, the drug cartel behind the abduction and killing of some of the victims handed their errant men over to US authorities.
But the debate continues into how quickly things were resolved in the case of these four people after the US government intervened. Although some Republicans have called for military strikes on the armed gangs exporting illicit drugs into the United States and abducting Americans in Mexico, the Biden administration said no resources will be spared for finding missing Americans in Mexico.
While the FDA has offered $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of the kidnappers and the US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador over the situation, many people who have lost loved ones to kidnappings in Mexico said the government failed to act when their own losses occurred.
But the government said everything is usually done in collaboration with local authorities to rescue Americans missing or held hostage in other nations.
“We work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can,” the State Department volunteered. And when it is proven that an American is a hostage, “we work aggressively to bring them home, using all the tools at our disposal – diplomatic, intelligence, and military – to secure their release.”
The FBI disclosed that it “relentlessly pursues all options when it comes to protecting the American people, and this doesn’t change when they are endangered across our border. We pursue all of our cases with the same vigor and commitment to the process.”