Listen to this article Four Americans Kidnapped In Mexico Result In Two Fatalities And Two Survivors.
Americans Kidnapped In Mexico
Gunmen kidnapped four American citizens at gunpoint in the city of Matamoros, which is located in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, on March 3rd. The four individuals had traveled to Tamaulipas to receive cosmetic surgery, according to relatives who spoke to US media. However, unidentified gunmen ambushed and took them while they were driving into Matamoros.
The kidnapping of foreigners is not uncommon in Mexico, particularly in areas where drug cartels are prevalent. Tamaulipas is one of six Mexican states that the US State Department advises travelers not to visit because of “crime and kidnapping.”
DETAILS OF THE KIDNAPPING
The four Americans were driving through Matamoros in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates when the gunmen opened fire, as seen in video footage of the incident. Heavily armed men load the victims into a pickup truck in the video. One of the individuals is forcibly loaded onto the vehicle, while the others, who appear to be unconscious, are dragged to the truck.
Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Eric James Williams, and Zindell Brown are the identified victims. The group was on their way to receive cosmetic surgery, and one of the individuals, Latavia McGee, was reportedly going to have a tummy tuck.
A Mexican woman, believed to be a 33-year-old bystander, was also killed in the incident.
TWO VICTIMS DEAD, TWO RESCUED
Mexican officials confirmed that they found two of the four Americans dead, but they rescued the other two and safely returned them to the United States. They repatriated the bodies of the deceased, and they arrested one suspect, identified only as José “N.”
The Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, expressed condolences to the families of those who died in the attack. The US State Department is continuing its investigation into the incident, which is still in its early stages.
Investigators suspect that the Gulf Cartel, one of the oldest organized crime groups in Mexico, is responsible for the attack. A US law enforcement source told CBS that they believe the Americans may have been mistaken for competing drug traffickers or caught in crossfire between rival factions. It is still unclear whether someone targeted the Americans specifically, or if it was simply a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The investigation is ongoing.
WARNING AGAINST TRAVEL
The US State Department advises travelers not to visit Tamaulipas due to “crime and kidnapping.” However, medical tourism is common, especially among people living in US border states. Despite the risks, many people continue to travel to Mexico for medical procedures due to the lower costs compared to those in the United States.
Drug cartels control large areas of Tamaulipas, often with more power than local law enforcement, making Matamoros one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico.
The kidnapping of Americans in Mexico is a concerning development, especially given the risks associated with traveling to Tamaulipas. While the incident is still under investigation, it serves as a reminder of the dangers of traveling to certain parts of Mexico, particularly for those seeking medical tourism. The US government continues to advise travelers to exercise caution and avoid certain areas in Mexico, where crime and kidnapping are prevalent.