Twenty years ago in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, four children–Latavia Washington McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown, and Eric Williams–were inseparable friends. According to Zindell Brown’s sister, they stuck together “like glue.”
Latavia is now 33 and the mother of six children. When she decided to get her figure in shape with a three to five thousand dollar tummy tuck offered by a clinic in Mexico, the other three eagerly volunteered to go with her on the 23-hour, 2-day, 1,500-mile drive.
They rented a white minivan, left South Carolina Wednesday of last week, and hit Mexico last Friday. But apparently, once they got into the vicinity of the Mexican city of Matamoros, they had trouble with their GPS and their phone signal. They got lost.
Lost in drug cartel territory. As they crossed an intersection, they drove into the crossfire of a gang war. Apparently one of the gangs thought the four black people driving together were drug dealers from Haiti. They stopped the foursome’s van, then dragged the four out, killed two who tried to run away, and held the two survivors, Latavia Washington McGee, and Eric Williams, shooting Williams once in one leg and twice in the other, and moving them from house to house. Possibly planning to use them for ransom.
Thanks to Mexico’s extensive system of security cameras[i], the Mexican police got photos and videos of key moments in the deadly kidnap, found the two survivors in a mere two days, and handed them over to the American authorities.
There are lessons to this kidnap and murder. As you know, there is a huge problem in Mexico with drug cartels. The murder rate in Mexico is more than four times the murder rate in the United States. Largely because of wars between the drug cartels.
But the question is, who should combat this violence? The Mexican military and the Mexican police? Or us, the good old USA?
We Americans are heavily implicated in the problem. It’s American drug hunger that feeds money to the drug cartels. And it’s our guns that the Mexican drug cartels are using. Taking advantage of our lax gun laws.
The Chinese are also implicated. Their companies supply the raw ingredients that the Mexican cartels cook into saleable form.
But should we barge into Mexico and try to calm things down? Not on your life. We haven’t got a clue of how to drive murder rates down. Yes, our murder rates in the United States are a fourth of Mexico’s. And our rate of murders has plunged by nearly half from 1990 to today.
So we must be doing something right. But we don’t know what it is. Which means that we can’t implement it in Mexico.
And the Mexicans are handling it on their own. Their murder rates are high, but dropping.
President Joe Biden thinks this is a Mexican problem to be solved by Mexicans. With American diplomacy when there are American victims. Biden’s administration worked closely with the Mexican police over the last few days to find these victims. To repeat, in an astonishing two days.
Donald Trump disagrees with the Biden approach. He wants to bomb the meth and fentanyl labs in Mexico. And “Marjorie Taylor Greene demands that the military “strategically strike and take out Mexican cartels.”[ii]
Trump and Greene want to make war on a neighbor.
But Mexico, despite its drug gangs, has enough peace and quiet to tempt major industrial investments. Tesla is building a new plant in Mexico. In the past two years, five other companies have built plants in Mexico.
And eight of the top auto brands–from Mercedes, Volkswagen, and Toyota to General Motors and Ford–build their cars in Mexico.
What’s more, Mexico is our biggest trading partner. $614.5 billion of our trade is with Mexico.
Mexico is not a cute American toy that we can bomb with impunity. It is a sovereign nation.
It may be time to take our eye off of Mexico’s murders and focus on Mexico’s role as an economic partner. And as a sometime economic competitor.
Howard Bloom has been called the Einstein, Newton, and Freud of the 21st century by Britain’s Channel 4 TV. One of his seven books–Global Brain—was the subject of a symposium thrown by the Office of the Secretary of Defense including representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Psychology Today, and the Scientific American. He does news commentary at 1:06 am Eastern Time every Wednesday night on 545 radio stations on Coast to Coast AM. For more, see http://howardbloom.institute.
[ii] https://www.newsweek.com/marjorie-taylor-greene-calls-strike-cartels-mexico-kidnapping-1785851, Crazy 8 Pac email 03-08-2023