Civil rights activists John Barnett (left) and Mario Black (right) pictured with Shanquella Robinson’s mom (middle left) and sister (middle right). Photo: courtesy of Mario Black

Three months after Shanquella Robinson died under suspicious circumstances while vacationing with acquaintances in Mexico, many questions remain.

Last November, the authorities in Mexico issued an arrest warrant for an unnamed “aggressor” in Robinson’s death, but no arrest has been announced.

To push for faster results, Million Youth March of Charlotte and Salisbury, a nonprofit group that seeks to end community violence, is partnering with Robinson’s family to launch a letter-writing campaign.

Mario Black, the group’s director, said the goal is to mail at least 1,000 letters to Mexican authorities to establish a sense of urgency in the case.

“The significance of it is to put pressure on Mexico, because they’re not owning up to their responsibility and executing the warrants of the Cabo Six,” Black told QCity Metro, referring to the six acquaintance who were in the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas where Robinson died. “We hope by doing this it will ignite someone there to push a little harder.”

Participants in the letter-writing campaign will meet at Little Rock AME Zion Church at noon on Feb. 18, then march to the U.S. post office on 201 N. McDowell St. 

An ongoing effort

Robinson, 25, made national headlines after she died on October 29 in the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas, where she went with six friends the previous day.

In interviews with several news outlets, Robinson’s parents said others on the trip blamed alcohol poisoning for their daughter’s death. An autopsy report listed the cause of death as “severe spinal cord injury and atlas dislocation” or upper vertebral instability.

On November 16, a video surfaced on social media, which has since gone viral, showing a what appears to be a women attacking Robinson.

QCity Metro is currently unable to verify when or where the video in question was recorded.

To date, authorities have not confirmed whether fatal injuries occurred in the video incident.

Mario Black said he speaks with the family on a weekly basis. He said the family has coped with her death “as well as expected” throughout the holidays.

They held a balloon release at her gravesite on Jan.9 to celebrate what would have been Robinson’s 26th birthday.

According to published reports, the FBI is conducting a separate investigation from Mexican authorities. Black said both agencies have failed to provide updates to the family.

QCity Metro reached out to the FBI for comment, but no one responded to our emails.

QCity Metro also requested to speak with Robinson’s family members, but they, too, did not respond to our requests.

“Three months without answers is entirely too long for a family that has already been through enough tragedy,” Black said.

In December, Black, alongside other community activists and leaders, hosted a peaceful rally at Little Rock AME Zion Church. Nearly 200 people attended.

The Rev. Dwayne Walker, pastor of Little Rock AME Zion, said his church has hosted a number of social justice rallies, dating back to the death of Keith Lamont Scott in 2016. 

Robinson’s death, he said, affected him a little more. Walker is the father of four daughters who are around the same age as Robinson.

“I can only imagine the pain they must be going through,” he told QCity Metro. “Anything that I can do as pastor, anything we could do as a church, we’re gonna make ourselves available to them.”

It’s important for Black churches to take the forefront of social injustice issues similar to Robinson’s case, Walker said. He plans to stand by the family in their fight for answers.

“It should always be our role to be a voice for the community and a haven for those who seek refuge from all the ills of society,” he said.

Participating in the March

Black said people from across the country have reached out to him in support of the march.

No letters have been received or sent so far, Black said. The goal is for all the letters to be mailed the day of the march, so they’ll all be received at the same time.

Those who cannot attend the rally can email their letter to

Jalon is a general assignment reporter for QCity Metro. He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and an avid sports fan. (

Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. This is ridiculous; why is it taking so long to extradite Dejanae Imani Jackson back to Mexico for charges? Everyone knows she’s the instigator of this and probably had help in the Quella’s murder. She will talk and uncover who all had a part in her death if she is charged. An attorney who specializes in international crime needs to be hired to bring Dejanae to justice!

  2. I’ve been following this story since it happened. I check for updates ALL the time and nothing. Mexico isn’t going to come into this country and get the Cabo 6, which is why the US needs to take responsibility and try their citizens for the murder of this young woman. We all watched the video.
    She and her family deserve justice.

  3. Her name has literally dropped from the media outlets. This needs to be as big of a story as Gabby Petitto was to put pressure on both governments to act. It’s well past time for an arrest. Let them serve their sentence in a Mexican jail. That seems like justice to me.

  4. This needs more social media attention. Many people are not aware of this situation in other states. This matter need to become nationwide attention with the people. Mexico wants this to be a hush hush situation so that they can maintain their Tourist travel. Such a shame on Mexico.

  5. in addition to a letter campaign to the Mexican government, we should begin a campaign of caution to anyone considering vacationing in Mexico. Hit Mexico in their Tourist pocketbook so their Tourist destinations put pressure on their own authorities.

  6. This almost seems like the prefect murder. Maybe we should start a letter writing campaign to the FBI to get a move on.

  7. What’s taking so long? So many unanswered questions and concerns. Is America justice system really allowing murders to go free as long as it wasn’t committed here? #justiceforshanquellarobinson