Américo Villarreal, governor of Tamaulipas informed that the four Americans kidnapped in Matamoros have been found. Two died, one is alive and the other is injured. Such information, he said, became known about 35 minutes ago. Contacted through a phone call, by President Andres Manuel Lopez 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 Citizen Security, Rosa Icela Rodríguez will give more information about the actions to be taken by the Mexican government at 13:00 hours. 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 by the Mexican authorities, who must also conduct an interview with the survivors of these events in order to find the culprits. No information has been provided at this time as to whether there are any detainees at the scene.
The US has the right to demonstrate
López Obrador assured that the United States has the right to demonstrate against these events, 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 events.
“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.
“There are very hypocritical people, who deplore these events and use them for political purposes. They traffic in pain,” he said.
The first version of a violent event
At the end of his meeting with the press, Obrador informed that the advances in the case pointed to the fact that the travelers had arrived in the country to buy medicines, but that they were intercepted by the aggressors, during a shooting that took place in the Tamaulipas city.
According to this version, those involved in the kidnapping shot at a white minivan in which the victims were traveling, then forced them into another car and took them away. So far the whereabouts of the Americans are unknown.
Who are the kidnapped men?
The mother of one of the victims reported to ABC that the victims are 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 meters 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 to announce that an investigation file has been opened to find the kidnapped youths. Although there has not been a formal complaint about their disappearance, the credential of Eric James Williams and other identity documents are sufficient evidence for this crime to be pursued 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 by means of ballistic evidence, vehicles found in the area, camera monitoring and different interviews with witnesses of the facts in order to solve this case.
Reward offered for them
The FBI issued a bulletin to request information on these events and is also offering a reward of 50 thousand dollars for anyone who provides the necessary information to find the tourists.
Last Friday the authorities of the entity 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.