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Four Americans were kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico

2023-03-07T23:48:54+00:00
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Ciudadanos estadounidenses secuestro México
  • Four Americans were kidnapped in the border city of Matamoros, Mexico.
  • The FBI has offered a $50,000 reward for their return.
  • Gunmen herded the four Americans into a vehicle and fled.

Four Americans were kidnapped in the Mexican border city of Matamoros when armed men opened fire on the vehicle in which they were traveling, reported the FBI. The incident has drawn attention due to the seriousness of the violence in the area and has taken on diplomatic overtones, according to infobae.

The four men had arrived in Matamoros on Friday from Brownsville, Texas on a day when there were deadly clashes in the Mexican town that caused the authorities to ask residents to stay inside their homes. The FBI’s San Antonio office said the Americans were traveling in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates.

THE FBI OFFERS A REWARD FOR THE KIDNAPPED AMERICANS’ RETURN

US citizens kidnapping Mexico
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«Shortly after crossing into Mexico, unidentified gunmen shot the passengers of the vehicle,» the US embassy in Mexico said Monday. «The armed men herded the four US citizens into another vehicle and fled the scene with them.» The FBI has offered a reward of $50,000 for the return of the victims and the arrest of those responsible, and has indicated that it is investigating the case together with «its federal partners and the Mexican authorities.»

Matamoros is the scene of a turf war between factions of the Gulf Cartel, an organization that has its fiefdom in that city in the easternmost corner of the border between Mexico and the United States, in the state of Tamaulipas. The shootings in Matamoros reached such a degree on Friday that both local authorities and the US consulate launched alerts asking the public to remain in their homes.

WERE THE MILITARY OR POLICE INVOLVED IN THE VIOLENCE?

Organized crime
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The Tamaulipas Secretary of Public Security immediately ruled out that the military or police had participated in the shootings and said it was «two armed incidents between unidentified civilians, lamenting loss of life and injuries.» Videos were published on social media showing the situation in the city and in one of them it was possible to see how armed men dragged two corpses to a truck in broad daylight.

Tamaulipas, on the border with Texas, is undergoing a strong wave of violence linked to organized crime and it is common for rival groups to take victims after clashes to hide them. According to the Secretary of Security, both the Army and the Navy, the National Guard, the federal prosecutor’s office and the state police increased their presence on Friday through tours of the entire urban area and its surroundings to protect citizens.

THE US LAUNCHES AN ALERT

US citizens kidnapping Mexico
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As a result of the kidnapping, the State Department issued an alert recommending that US citizens not travel to this city. Tamaulipas is one of the most violent states in Mexico. On Sunday, February 26, in Nuevo Laredo, five young people, one of whom was an American, were killed by members of the Mexican Army when they were heading home from a nightclub.

Apparently, the Americans had just crossed the border through Matamoros, in Tamaulipas, one of the states hardest hit by the presence of drug cartels. After that, they were forcibly loaded into a pick-up truck by armed men, according to a statement from the San Antonio FBI published on Monday in the local press. There was no information about the victims.

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