Rampant violence plagues Mexico and on occasion spills over the border. Mexico has had, for some time, a higher murder rate than Iraq, if nowhere near as high as Venezuela. In that context, this story has a happy ending: an 18 year old girl was kidnapped in the U.S., taken across the border into Mexico and held for ransom. When it turned out that her family couldn’t pay, the criminals dumped her in a Mexican field. Eventually she was rescued and returned, alive, to her parents.
It is the details of the story that are revealing. Policemen in her own town were able to talk with the girl on her cell phone, but they couldn’t cross the border to help her:
U.S. authorities did not contact their Mexican counterparts because they did not know whether they were corrupted or connected to the girl’s captors, [San Juan Police Chief Juan] Gonzalez said.
So corruption in Mexican police forces is so common that American authorities don’t dare tell Mexican policemen the whereabouts of a kidnap victim.
Random people the girl encountered would not help, either.
“People that she came across didn’t want to help,” the chief said. “People are living in fear in Mexico.”
Gonzalez would not specify exactly who went to pick up the girl — only that a “courageous person” crossed and found her covered in dirt, but unharmed.
So the authorities apparently carried out an “unofficial” rescue. I’m not surprised that people are living in fear in Mexico, given the level of violence there. But this kind of incident suggests a breakdown in the social order that may not be sustainable for much longer.