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Two Americans were found dead and two others alive after being kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico, in what officials have described as a videotaped attack on a drug cartel
The group — identified by the family as Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown and Eric James Williams — was attacked on March 3 shortly after entering Matamoros, an area dominated by the Gulf Cartel.
Video showed the group being thrown into a truck by gunmen in broad daylight after a shootout. Authorities confirmed on Tuesday that the group had been found.
Ms. McGee and Mr. Williams were rescued alive and have since been returned to the US. Mr Woodard and Mr Brown were killed.
Ms McGee’s mother previously revealed that the group had traveled to Mexico so that her daughter could have a tummy tuck.
US officials have vowed to ensure justice for the victims, as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and US Attorney General Merrick Garland blamed drug cartels. At least one suspect has been arrested, according to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
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Andrew BlancoMarch 8, 2023 09:00
GOP calls for military intervention after fatal kidnapping
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News he would introduce legislation to “pave the way” for Mexico’s use of military force to fight the drug cartel.
Mr Graham made the remarks on Jesse Watters’ show on Monday night and said he would “put legislation in place to make certain Mexican drug cartels foreign terrorist organizations under US law and pave the way for them to use military force if necessary. “
The independentEric Garcia’s has the story:
Andrew BlancoMarch 8, 2023 8:00 AM
Video would show kidnapping
A video widely shared on social media, reportedly filmed in the city on Friday, shows people being dragged and dumped into the back of a white flatbed truck parked in the middle of a busy street by gunmen wearing body armor.
The video has not been officially verified and the FBI has not commented publicly on it.
Matamoros is notorious as a center for gang violence and illegal migrant smuggling.
The Tamaulipas state police said on its social media channel that people had been killed and injured in two gun battles in Matamoros on Friday in which neither the military nor police were involved, but did not provide further details about the shootings or say whether the kidnappings were related.
“There have been two armed incidents between unidentified civilians,” it said. “The exact number of cases is confirmed.”
Photos have now been released of the abandoned car, with visible bullet holes.
Andrew Blanco8 March 2023 07:00
Mexican authorities are working to repatriate the bodies of slain American tourists
The bodies of two Americans killed in Matamoros, Mexico, will be repatriated after local authorities conduct forensic evaluations, a source close to the investigation told CNN.
Tamaulipas Governor Américo Villareal said during a televised interview with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that two individuals, Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown, were killed.
Two other US citizens, one unharmed and one injured, are back on US soil.
Andrew BlancoMarch 8, 2023 06:00
Photos show the rescue of two American tourists from the drug cartel, while dead friends have been identified
Photos by the Associated Press showed the moment when the two surviving US citizens were rescued by Mexican authorities.
They were found in a storehouse in a rural area east of Matamoros called Ejido Longoreño on the way to the local beach known as Playa Baghdad, a source close to the investigation told the AP.
Andrew BlancoMarch 8, 2023 05:00
Zindell Brown had been hesitant about traveling to Mexico
Zindell Brown, one of two Americans killed in the kidnapping, was concerned about the risks of traveling to Mexico, his sister told the Associated Press.
“Zindell kept saying, ‘We mustn’t go down,'” Zalandria Brown told the news organization.
And she added: “This is like a bad dream you wish you could wake up from. To see a family member get thrown into the back of a truck and dragged along, it’s just unbelievable.”
Graeme MassieMarch 8, 2023 4:31 AM
White House responds to fatal kidnappings of US citizens in Mexico
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that attacks on American citizens under any circumstances are unacceptable.
Ms Jean-Pierre said more information will be released after family members of the two fatalities and two kidnapping survivors have been notified of any developments in the case by US officials. She also noted that the Biden administration remains committed to “disrupting transnational criminal organizations, including Mexican drug cartels and people smugglers.”
“We remain committed to using the full weight of our efforts and resources to counter them,” said Ms Jean-Pierre.
Our immediate concerns are the safe return of our citizens, the health and well-being of those who survived this attack, and the support to be provided to the families of those in need.
Andrew BlancoMarch 8, 2023 04:00
Mexican officials reveal photo of person arrested during operation to retrieve four Americans
A photo of Jose Guadalupe “N”, the person detained during the rescue operation, is shown at a press conference to provide details after two US citizens were found dead in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, at the Auditorium of Secretaria de Seguridad y Protección Ciudadana on March 7, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Graeme MassieMarch 8, 2023 03:30
Americans discourage travel to area where kidnapping took place
The US consulate in Matamoros on Friday issued a warning to its employees in response to the latest outbreak of violence.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the FBI San Antonio Division at 210-225-6741 or submit tips online anonymously here.
Andrew BlancoMarch 8, 2023 03:00
Officials show footage of what Americans found in Mexico
Footage from the scene where four US citizens were rescued is shown on a screen during a press conference to provide details after two US citizens were found dead in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, at the Auditorium of Secretaria de Seguridad y Protección Ciudadana on March 7, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Graeme MassieMarch 8, 2023 02:27