Ion Perdicaris, a Greek-American, was kidnapped in 1904 in Tangier by Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli and held for $70,000 ransom. Outraged, President Theodore Roosevelt sent warships and Marines to Morocco, along with a message: “This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.” Perdicaris was freed.
Today, not one, but hundreds of Americans rot in Mexican jails. The State Department stopped reporting numbers years ago, but in 1998 CNN reported 400 U.S. citizens were imprisoned in Mexico, more than in any other nation. The Obama administration response is to create “Beyond Merida,” an aid program with appropriations that totaled $1.3 billion by 2010. In exchange for this ransom, how many Americans held without trial have been freed? None.
Consider the dangers if you are foolish enough to visit Mexico.