2 americans die after being ‘accidentally’ kidnapped by mexican drug cartels
Officials said two US citizens kidnapped by suspected Mexican drug traffickers were found dead Tuesday, while two others survived in what appeared to be a tragic case of mistaken identity.
Washington promised to do everything in its power to ensure justice for the victims, who crossed the border into Matamoros for medical reasons on Friday.
According to Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios, the abduction was probably the result of a mix-up rather than a targeted attack.
According to officials, the two survivors were returned to the United States via a land border crossing between Matamoros and Brownsville, Texas.
The US media identified them as Latavia Washington McGee and Eric James Williams.
Tamaulipas Governor Americo Villarreal said one victim suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, while the other was unharmed.
One of the victims was planning to have cosmetic surgery in Mexico.
One of the victims was planning to have cosmetic surgery in Mexico, he said.
Villarreal said preliminary investigations suggest all four were alive until at least Monday, but it was not immediately clear whether the deaths occurred before or during the rescue operation.
The four people were transferred to various locations, including a clinic, during the three days following the criminal act to avoid rescue efforts.
Once forensic studies were completed in Mexico, Villarreal said the bodies of the two US citizens would be repatriated within hours.
US pursuit is ‘relentless’
A US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statement said the victims traveled to Matamoros in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates on Friday.
There was a $50,000 reward for information leading to the return of the unidentified victims and the arrest of the perpetrators.
Immediately after crossing into Mexico, unidentified gunmen opened fire on the Americans in the (minivan). All four Americans were taken from the scene by armed men.
Mexican officials said a 33-year-old woman died near the scene, possibly from a stray bullet.
It offered condolences to the families of the victims and denounced the kidnappings as “unacceptable.”
John Kirby, White House national security spokesman, said that the White House will work closely with the Mexican government to ensure that justice is served in this case.
Merrick Garland, the US Attorney General, said the Justice Department would be “relentless” in seeking justice for the victims.
Asserting that “we will do everything in our power to identify, find, and hold accountable those responsible for this attack on American citizens,” he concluded.
The Mexican authorities have arrested a suspect who was guarding the abductees in Matamoros.
Hotspot for cartels
“We’re very sorry that this has happened in our country,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters.
Those responsible will be found and punished, he said.
It is one of the Mexican states most affected by drug trafficking and organized crime.
Salazar said the abduction was a “tragic reminder” that both countries must “strengthen the fight against criminal organizations” on their shared border.
As of 2006, more than 340,000 people have been murdered in the Latin American country as a result of cartel-related violence.
In Tamaulipas, there are dangers such as gun battles, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, forced disappearances, extortion, and sexual assault.
Despite the risks, Matamoros, located on the banks of the Rio Grande River separating the two countries, is a major stopping point for irregular migrants.