UPDATE 7 PM ======================
The FBI has now released the names of the two Americans killed in the Mexican city of Matamoros.
Zindell Brown and Shaeed Woodard were found dead, but Latavia Washington McGee and Eric Williams were dropped off at a medical facility in the city of 500,000.
The Gulf cartel has been fingered as the organization responsible for the abduction and subsequent killing of these U.S. citizens. Analysts believe the two surviving Americans were only kept alive after hearing the U.S. government offered a $50,000 reward for their safe return over the weekend.
It’s believed the drug traffickers probably moved the two Americans through a network of safe houses each day when they realized the heat was on. The Gulf cartel is said to be one of the oldest criminal organizations in Mexico, into not only narcotics but also human trafficking and kidnappings for ransom, as a business model.
Until the next time it drips….
Two of the four Americans seen on camera being taken hostage in Mexico are now dead. It’s believed they were victims of a Mexican drug cartel.
You may have seen the shocking video in recent days of four U.S. citizens being taken hostage on the streets of Matamoros, Mexico.
A crew of men pointed long guns at the visiting Americans, while hustling them into another car. At the time, two individuals were laying on the ground motionless from apparent gunshot wounds.
CNN reports Governor Americo Villarreal, of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, announced the bad news in a phone call with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Tuesday. He also said one of the two Americans rescued was seriously injured.
Attorney General of Tamaulipas Irving Barrios had this to say about the manhunt for the assailants…
“Unfortunately, two dead. Investigation and intelligence work continue to capture those responsible.”
The four U.S. citizens were from South Carolina and had been extremely close for most of their lives. They crossed the border in Brownville, Texas, but soon after were ambushed by gun-toting marauders and fired upon.
The names of the four are Latavia Washington McGee, 33 years old, Zindell Brown, Shaeed Woodard and Eric Williams. It’s reported Washington McGee is a mother of six children.
The group was in the border town seeking medical services. Washington McGee was scheduled for a tummy tuck procedure, but her friends wouldn’t let her go alone. They never made it to the doctor’s appointment.
The FBI strongly believes the group was a victim of mistaken identity, in the middle of a drug cartel struggle for territory. They believe the Americans were mistaken for Haitian drug smugglers.
The city of Matamoros has been under a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for U.S. citizens from the State Department for quite some time. Mexico has seen a particular brazenmess and viciousness in recent years from the country’s cartels, reaching all the way to popular vacation destinations like Cancún.
United States Attorney Merrick Garland gave this statement…
“I’ve been briefed by the FBI, which is working with Mexican authorities, and senior department officials are working closely with our counterparts at the State Department.”
There have been rising tentions at the U.S Mexico boarder for a long time. When you couple that worry with drug cartel wars and a thriving medical tourism industry, this kind of incident was bound to happen at some point.
Until the next time it drips….