About 1,000 U.S. fugitives wanted for crimes are believed to live in Mexico, says the Los Angeles Times. Many are in resort areas such as Cancun or in border states such as Baja California. In recent years, Mexican law enforcement agencies, even some rife with corruption – have stepped up their efforts to send fugitives back north. Fugitive deportations and extraditions from Mexico reached 299 last year, more than triple the number from 2003, says the U.S. Marshals Service.
Law enforcement agencies in Mexico get mixed grades pursuing high-level, homegrown drug traffickers, but hustling after common criminals from the U.S. is an uncomplicated way to burnish crime-fighting credentials and accommodate U.S. interests. Most U.S. fugitives, including alleged rapists and murderers, don’t possess powerful protectors in Mexico and their rap sheets make them threats on both sides of the border. The increasing arrest rates, which also include apprehensions of Mexican citizens wanted for crimes in the U.S., reflect generally improving relations between members of U.S. and Mexican law enforcement fugitive squads, who keep one another on speed dial and meet regularly to exchange information and suspects at the border.