(LibertySociety.com) The FBI offered a $50,000 reward for the return of four Americans who were abducted on Friday March 3rd, 2023, in the city of Matamoros, reported by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City on Sunday, March 5th, 2023. Matamoros is a dangerous city in the state of Tamaulipas, which is a location that the United States Department of State has advised Americans to avoid traveling to.
According to CNN, a U.S. official stated that the kidnapping was most likely due to misidentification, adding that the Americans were not thought to have traveled to Mexico for criminal purposes. As of March 7, the four Americans have been found — but only two survived the ordeal.
A shocking video captured the kidnapping in progress, appearing to show that two of the men who were thrown into the back of a pickup truck were already dead or badly wounded. The suspects, donning bulletproof vests, also violently pushed a woman into the back of the flatbed truck with the men. The Gulf drug cartel is prevalent in Matamoros, with multiple factions that are often fighting one another. A dangerous gun battle took place shortly after the kidnappings, but it is unclear if they were related incidents. The city of Brownsville, Texas, is located just across the border from Matamoros.
The four people who were kidnapped have been identified as Zindell Brown, Eric James Williams, Shaeed Woodard, and Latavia McGee. McGee and Williams were both found alive earlier this week at a residence outside the city. The other two victims were reportedly found dead in the same area. Williams was injured, however, and had to undergo surgery after he was found. It’s reported that McGee was in Mexico for a medical procedure.
According to ABC News, US authorities are still investigating the tragic incident and are working to get the bodies of Brown and Woodard back across the border. Mexican investigators still believe the perpetrators misidentified the victims as “rival human traffickers,” the outlet reported.
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