A real tourist trap

Mexican travel more dangerous with scary arrest of innocent

Mexican drug cartels are beheading people and massacring them by the dozens. They’ve built sophisticated tunnels under the border to ship massive amounts of illegal drugs and immigrants here. They’ve used those immigrants and others as mules to carry the drugs over.

But all of a sudden, an Arizona mother and devout Mormon who appears utterly squeaky clean became Mexican Public Enemy No. 1 because they found drugs underneath her on a public bus.

Yeah. She thought, “Hey, while I’m down here for my aunt’s funeral, why not join the drug trade!”

And somehow, according to those crackerjack Mexican law enforcement officials who swooped in on this hardened homemaker, she had the time and expertise and inclination to set up an intricate smuggling system involving metal hooks and such. Must have been a long funeral!

Hmm. Maybe the police – if they’re not bent themselves – could have just looked at the video the judge eventually did before releasing her last Thursday. They would’ve seen her climbing the bus with nothing more than blankets, water and her purse.

What a truckload of  manure that’s being dumped on American travelers and tourists in Mexico.

The truth is, it’s a great way for real criminals to smuggle drugs – put them somewhere near an innocent traveler. And it has the added benefit of extortion: Once arrested on bogus charges, an American can be encouraged to pay a bribe to get home.

What a great deal: They not only get to keep the drugs, but also a rather large involuntary tip from the oblivious tourist.

Indeed, the family of Yanira Maldonado was advised to gather up $5,000, just in case.

It’s tantamount to official kidnapping.

Thankfully, media attention has shamed Mexican authorities into releasing Maldonado – but only after a nightmarish week of wrongful captivity with the dire black cloud of 10 years in an awful prison hanging over her.

The Mexican government has apologized, but can’t give her the week back.

Moreover, not everybody is blessed enough to be bathed in the protective warmth of a spotlight as Maldonado has been. How many other targets of a corrupt government would have languished longer, or been forced to cough up the bribe money?

It’s bad enough that lawless, amoral, hyper-violent drug thugs have slaughtered their way to preeminence in Mexico, but many in the country’s criminal “justice” system are crooked as a dog’s hind leg to boot. They don’t have drug-sniffing dogs so much as money-sniffing ones.

This kind of naked extortion can’t have a beneficial effect on either Mexican tourism or cross-border relations. A lot of Americans are likely assessing the wisdom of visiting Mexico about now.

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