- Four American tourists were kidnapped in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and two were found dead, while two were rescued and are being transferred to the U.S.
- Mexican authorities have arrested one person in connection to the kidnapping, and investigations are ongoing.
- The U.S. government has issued a travel alert advising its citizens not to travel to Mexico due to the violence in the region. The FBI is also offering a reward of $50,000 for information leading to the resolution of the case.
Américo Villarreal, governor of Tamaulipas, informed that the four Americans kidnapped in Matamoros had been found: two are dead, one is alive and the other is injured. This information, he said, became known about 35 minutes ago (i.e., around 08:00 hours on Tuesday). Contacted through a phone call by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the local leader assured that ambulances and security personnel will carry out the emergency transfer from the point where they were located.
The President said that the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, will give more information on the actions to be carried out by the Mexican government at 1:00 p.m. likewise, the repatriation of the bodies of the tourists is expected to take place in the next few hours.
This procedure must be carried out after a necropsy performed by the Mexican authorities, who must also conduct an interview with the survivors of these events to find the culprits. Meanwhile, it was reported that, so far, one person has been arrested for these unfortunate events.
The US has the right to protest
López Obrador assured that the United States has the right to protest against these crimes, although he assured that his administration did not intend for such a disgrace to happen. He regretted the events that occurred last Friday and sent condolences to the families, friends, loved ones and the American people for the deaths and injured in these attacks.
“We are working every day to guarantee peace, tranquility.”
He ruled out that this would cause a change in the security strategy between the governments of both nations. He added that the proposal is to consider Mexican drug traffickers as terrorists because this proposal is part of a political strategy to gain political advantage.
“Some very hypocritical people deplore these events and use them for political purposes. They traffic in pain,” he said.
They are already being transferred to the United States
The two young men who survived this aggression are already being transferred to U.S. soil. According to Mexican authorities, they will be sent to Texas employing an operation in which institutions from both countries collaborate.
The four victims were found in the El Tecolote ejido. The survivors left Mexican territory through the Los Tomates bridge.
According to Rosa Icela Rodríguez, Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, at least one person is in custody for these events. Investigations continue in Matamoros.
The first version of a violent event
Yesterday, at the end of his meeting with the press, the head of the Executive Branch informed that the advances in the case pointed to the fact that the travelers had arrived in the country to buy medicines but that the aggressors intercepted them during a shooting that took place in the Tamaulipas city.
According to this version, those involved in the kidnapping shot at a white minivan where the victims were traveling, forcing them into another car and taking them away. So far the whereabouts of the Americans are unknown.
Who are the kidnapped persons?
The mother of one of the victims reported to ABC that they were her son Latavia McGee, her nephew Shaeed Woodard and their friends Zindell Brown and Eric James Williams. The men were at the scene to accompany a young woman for a cosmetic procedure at a clinic in Matamoros.
The young men were reportedly abducted a few yards from where the surgery was to take place. Latavia’s mother had spoken to him a few minutes before the crime. When she found out what had happened, she tried to dial his phone again, but he did not answer.
At the scene of the crime, authorities found an ID with Eric’s name on it, so it was confirmed that the four were among the victims of the hitmen who struck the city at two different points.
Tamaulipas initiated an investigation folder
The prosecutor of Tamaulipas, Irving Barrios Mojica, gave a press conference yesterday afternoon to announce that an investigation has been initiated to find the kidnapped youths. Although there has not been a formal complaint about their disappearance, Eric James Williams’ credentials and other identity documents are sufficient evidence to pursue this crime ex officio.
In addition to this, he informed that the Secretary of National Defense, the National Guard, the Secretary of Public Security, and the entity’s Search Commission are working to find the victims.
The Prosecutor’s Office aims to follow up the facts using ballistic evidence, vehicles found in the area, camera monitoring, and different interviews with witnesses of the facts to solve this case.
A reward is offered for them
The FBI issued a bulletin to request information about these facts and also offers a reward of 50 thousand dollars for anyone who provides the necessary information to find the tourists.
Last Friday, the entity’s authorities registered a shooting between two groups of armed civilians. As a result of the crossfire, a woman died when she was hit by one of the bullets fired by the criminals. In addition to this, videos were published on social networks in which the gunmen can be seen loading the bodies of some people into their pickup trucks and fleeing the scene.
Travel to Mexico is discouraged
Since then, the federal and local governments have been working hand in hand to try to find the assailants and the kidnap victims. According to the President, the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodriguez, has been in contact with the FBI to keep him informed about the progress of the investigations.
The U.S. government issued a travel alert for U.S. tourists not to travel to Mexico to avoid putting themselves at risk from the violence plaguing the region.