The US-Mexico border is a bustling area, as young Mexicans cross north for shopping or private schooling, while US citizens head south for cheaper medical procedures and drugs. While some Americans have fallen victim to violence in Mexico, most of the deaths in 2021 were due to accidents, suicides, or drug-related incidents. However, Mexicans face unrelenting violence on a daily basis, with over 30,000 murders occurring each year, mostly unsolved. Recent cases of violence against Americans include the brutal death of an American public defender in a northern Mexican resort and the discovery of four bodies, including an American architect, in central Mexico. Another young American was killed near Cabo San Lucas in October. Just days before the recent kidnapping of four Americans, another US citizen was killed by the Mexican army. Collaborative reporting by Elda Cantu, Oscar Lopez, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, with Kitty Bennett assisting in research. The article is written by investigative correspondent Maria Abi-Habib and bureau chiefs Natalie Kitroeff and Jack Nicas.