With economic opportunities in Tapachula being limited in May of 2022, many Haitians, like Mackendy Dorce, 38, joined the informal sector. He sold oranges to earn a living.

On March 3, members of a Mexican drug cartel kidnapped four Black Americans and killed two in what officials are suggesting is a case of mistaken identity. That is, the gang members thought the four Americans were Haitian drug smugglers.

Later, the Gulf Cartel turned in five of its members with a letter of apology for the crime that occurred just over the southern border from Brownsville, Texas, in the Mexican city of  Matamoros. The cartel also returned the two American bodies. 


Killing of Black American tourists in Mexico mistaken for Haitians highlights dangers of being Haitian in Mexico.

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J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She is a 2022 Fellow for the Columbia School of Journalism's Age Boom Academy. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.