Two Kidnapped Americans Killed In Mexico
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
MEXICO CITY (Worthy News) – Two of four Americans who were kidnapped in northern Mexico last week were found dead Tuesday in a case that has underscored growing insecurity around the U.S.-Mexico border, officials said.
Later in the day, the two survivors — Eric James Williams and Latavia “Tay” McGee — returned to the U.S., their families said. The four Americans — Williams, McGee, Zindell Brown, and McGee’s cousin Shaeed Woodard — arrived Friday in the border town of Matamoros in Mexico’s northeastern state of Tamaulipas.
One of them planned to undergo a cosmetic procedure in the town, just south of Brownsville, Texas, but their white minivan almost immediately came under gunfire, witnesses said.
Armed men in black with protective vests and rifles forced or dragged them into a white pickup truck, a gruesome scene captured on video by a bystander.
In the days that followed, the victims were moved among at least three different locations by cartel members, said the governor of Tamaulipas state, Américo Villarreal.
By the time Mexican security forces located them in a “wooden house” on the city’s outskirts Tuesday morning, two of the Americans were dead, and another was injured. “Williams had a gunshot wound to his leg,” Villarreal said.
The two survivors were returned to the border, with Mexican media showing images of what appeared to be a man and a woman receiving treatment in an ambulance.
Mexican investigators reportedly said that the kidnappers likely wrongly believed the Americans were rival human traffickers.
U.S. law enforcement specialists suggested that the killings were the latest in a series of incidents in the volatile border area now deemed controlled by organized crime syndicates, including drug cartels and human traffickers.
“The big takeout is the border is wide open, and drug cartels are operating and controlling the border,” said former FBI special agent Peter Yachmetz, a certified hostage negotiator. “Do not go through any of these border crossings. It is a known ‘Do Not Travel zone.’”
On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden was “been kept updated” on the situation, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, adding that U.S. officials are in touch with the families of the
Jean-Pierre called attacks on U.S. citizens “unacceptable.”
However, the incident has raised new questions about security along the Mexican border and left President Biden open to further attacks from Republicans in Washington.
Biden declined to finish a border wall that former President Donald J. Trump began rolling out along the U.S.-Mexican border to improve security and discourage an influx of undocumented migrants.
Mexican authorities have been waging a deadly battle against drug cartels for over a decade, “but with limited success,” said the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the U.S.-based think tank.
“Thousands of Mexicans—including politicians, students, and journalists—die in the conflict every year,” the CFR added in an assessment seen by Worthy News.
“The country has seen more than 360,000 homicides since 2006, when the government declared war on the cartels,” the CFR said.
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