Kidnappings in Mexico are something Americans have been cautioned against for decades. With the uprising of cartels throughout the country in the 1970s, the “joke” became more serious as time went on. As more Americans look to vacation or relocate down there, the warnings have become more and more real. To help alleviate concern, many are now electing to ensure family and friends know not only their every move while down there but also what they are wearing daily.
November 29th, 2022, was a day like any other for Monica de Leon Barba, 29. Walking her dog home from work in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico. First reported by CBS News, they stated: “De Leon was headed to a gym between 5-6 p.m. called Fit 4 Life in the Guadalupe Fraction when she was forced into a van ‘leaving the poor puppy alone in the street,’ her family and friends said on a community Facebook page dedicated to finding the missing woman.”
US officials believe that she was kidnapped. A spokesman from the FBI in San Francisco, CA told CBS News “We believe that Monica is alive, but we don’t know where she is. After Monica was kidnapped, her family found her dog on the street and safely recovered the dog.” To help boost their quest for her return, the FBI has offered a $40,000 reward for her recovery.
Her brother Gustavo de Leon, said, “I can’t help but think of the absolute fear and agony she has faced for the last 121 days.” Given the history of cartel activity and their demands for such returns, things don’t look good for her safe return unfortunately, but the fact that the FBI remains positive that she is alive is a good sign for the moment.
Attacks like these are more common these days, with former Western District of Texas U.S. Marshal Robert Almonte describing them as the “bread and butter” of the “culture” for the Mexican drug cartels. He elaborated by saying “It’s getting worse because the Mexican government cannot get control of the cartels. The U.S. is going to get the brunt of that.”
In the last month, the FBI has started offering rewards for captures in Mexico. When 4 citizens were kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico, they ponied up $50,000 for their return. Two came back alive, two dead. There was a publicity bit by the cartel apologizing for the problems to accompany their release.
Also in mid-March, they offered up $20,000 for 63-year-old Maria del Carmen Lopez. She had been taken from her Pueblo Nuevo home in the southwestern Mexico state of Colima.
As the Washington Post reported back in March, “More than 550 Americans are reported as missing in Mexico, a little-known facet of a broader tragedy that has honeycombed this country with mass graves…Soaring violence and government dysfunction have fueled a crisis that’s left at least 112,150 people missing, according to government records here.”
While these kinds of rewards are appreciated by families that often could not afford to put up such money, it isn’t the brightest move. For decades, the US has refused to negotiate with terrorists. Yet now, they are refusing to treat the narcotics dealers like the terrorists that they are, and instead are rewarding them for their terror-causing activities.
This doesn’t encourage them to stop taking people; if anything, it encourages them to snatch more of them up. It also opens the door for people to claim they have been “abducted” to gain reward money. While $20,000-50,000 isn’t a ton of money here in the US, in many of these cartel-dominated parts of Mexico, that can be 5 years’ wages.
If Biden and the rest of the left would take off their blinders and admit we have a drug-controlled terrorism problem we could bring these kidnappings as well as the flood of fentanyl to a grinding halt.