Mexico kidnapping – live: Gulf drug cartel blamed for Matamoros tourist attack as victim’s warning revealed

Mexico kidnapping – live: Gulf drug cartel blamed for Matamoros tourist attack as victim’s warning revealed

The two Americans who survived a horror kidnapping in the cartel-dominated region of Matamoros, Mexico, are now back on US soil – while the bodies of their two slain friends are set to be repatriated.

Latavia “Tay” McGee and Eric James Williams are currently undergoing treatment in a hospital in Texas after they were rescued from a drug cartel “stash house” on Tuesday.

Mexican officials are carrying out autopsies on the bodies of their two friends Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown before their bodies will be returned to the US.

The shocking incident began on Friday when the group of four friends travelled to Matamoros for Ms McGee to undergo a tummy tuck procedure. Video showed the group being thrown into a truck by armed men in broad daylight after a shootout, prompting a days-long search.

But before embarking on the fateful trip, Brown told his sister Zalandria Brown that he was worried about the dangers of visiting the cartel-dominated area.

“Zindell kept saying, ‘We shouldn’t go down,’” Ms Brown told the Associated Press. “To see a member of your family thrown in the back of a truck and dragged, it is just unbelievable.”

Key Points

  • Four Americans kidnapped at gunpoint in Tamaulipas on Friday
  • FBI appeals for public’s help in identifying assailants
  • Video of violence in Matamoros emerges
  • Americans crossed border to buy medicine, Mexican president says
  • Innocent Mexican citizen killed in incident

US officials advise against travelling to Matamoros

05:00 , Andrea Blanco

The US State Department has advised Americans not to travel to Tamaulipas due to the risk of crime and kidnapping, with the region featuring on its “Level 4: Do Not Travel” list.

The US Consulate in Matamoros issued a warning to its employees on Friday in response to the latest outbreak of violence.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the FBI San Antonio Division at 210-225-6741 or to submit tips anonymously online here.

Mexico kidnapping map: Where were four US citizens abducted at gunpoint in Matamoros?

04:00 , Andrea Blanco

Four Americans drove across the US border with Mexico on 3 March in their white minivan, where they were ambushed by armed men

Mexico kidnapping map: Where were four US citizens abducted at gunpoint in Matamoros?

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