After two U.S. citizens were left dead in a brutal cartel killing, many officials are issuing harsh warnings for people who intend to travel to Mexico in the near future. Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes warned that American college students planning to travel south should “absolutely not” go to Mexico to enjoy their spring breaks. Fuentes said that although private resorts themselves may be safe, the trip to these safety enclaves is still very dangerous, and once you cross the border, you’re on your own. Amid calls from Republicans to take armed action in Mexico, security experts say that priority number one should be closing the southern border and protecting the interests of Americans here at home. However, with the security situation deteriorating in Mexico by the day and the U.S.-Mexican border still in crisis mode, time will tell if the recent tragedy, which left two Americans dead, can lead to a change in policy with this administration.
By Charles Creit; March 9, 2023
A former top FBI official warned against American college students going to Mexico amid the latest cartel-related violence that left two U.S. citizens dead and two others kidnapped.
“No, absolutely not,” former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes told “Jesse Watters Primetime.”
“The problem with these self-contained resorts – and they have all kids of security and protection and everything – [is] you have to get to the resort. So the danger is getting off the plane or bus or train and getting from the transportation hub to the actual resort which there you have protection.”
He compared that dynamic to the situation in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, that led to the four Americans being besieged by cartels just miles outside Brownsville, Texas.
“En route, you’re in danger, just like these Americans that were killed in Matamoros – because once they crossed the border they were on their own,” Fuentes said.
“They might have gone on their way to a medical facility that had security guards or any of that – we don’t know for sure. But they certainly once they crossed the border they were on their own.”
Fuentes added the Biden administration doesn’t appear to have a concise strategy to deal with cartel smuggling or violence.
“Or if they have [a strategy], they failed to articulate it in any kind of sensible manner,” he said.
“If they’re going to have a strategy, it’s going to have to start with closing the border. That’s number one – And until they do that, they’re not serious about any of this.”
Referencing calls from some Republicans to allow the U.S. military to intervene in Mexico, Fuentes noted the last time such a situation occurred was more than a century ago when Gen. John Pershing was dispatched to capture Mexican Revolutionary general Pancho Villa in 1914.
“Pershing and a contingent from Fort Bliss were sent to track him down after he and his people shot up a New Mexico City and killed U.S. soldiers and American citizens. Now, they spent 18 months in Mexico trying to chase him in the mountains unsuccessfully,” he said.
“And that’s not too popular to this day with the Mexicans that know we did that.”
The other difference between U.S. attacks against Islamic terror groups and potential activity in Mexico is that the terrorists were not in major cities overseas, but that the cartels do operate mainly in Mexican population centers.