Mexico kidnapping latest: Two Americans rescued from drug cartel stash house are named after Matamoros attack

Related: Drug cartels using to pinpoint Border Agents’ locations

Two Americans were found dead and two others alive after they were kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico, in what officials have described as a drug cartel attack captured on video

The group – identified by family as Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown and Eric James Williams – were attacked on 3 March shortly after entering Matamoros, an area dominated by the Gulf cartel.

Video showed the group being thrown into a truck by armed men in broad daylight after a shootout. Authorities confirmed on Tuesday that the group had been found.

Ms McGee and Mr Williams were rescued alive and have since been returned to the US. Mr Woodard and Mr Brown were killed.

Ms McGee’s mother previously revealed the group had travelled to Mexico so her daughter could undergo a tummy tuck procedure.

US officials have vowed to secure justice for the victims, as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and US Attorney General Merrick Garland pointed blame at drug cartels. At least one suspect has been arrested, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said.


Photos show rescue of two American tourists from drug cartel stash house as dead friends identified

Photos by the Associated Press showed the moment the two surviving American citizens were rescued by Mexican authorities.

They were found at a stash house in a rural area east of Matamoros called Ejido Longoreño on the way to the local beach known as Playa Baghdad, a source close to the investigation told the AP.

Andrea Blanco8 March 2023 05:00


Zindell Brown had been wary about travelling to Mexico

Zindell Brown, one of the two Americans killed in the kidnapping, was concerned about the risks involved in travelling to Mexico, his sister told the Associated Press.

“Zindell kept saying, ‘We shouldn’t go down,’” Zalandria Brown told the news organisation.

And she added: “This is like a bad dream you wish you could wake up from. To see a member of your family thrown in the back of a truck and dragged, it is just unbelievable.”

Graeme Massie8 March 2023 04:31


White House reacts to fatal kidnappings of American citizens in Mexico

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that any attacks on American citizens under any circumstances were unacceptable.

Ms Jean-Pierre said more information will be released after family members of the two fatal victims and two kidnapping survivors are updated by US officials on any developments made in the case. She also noted that the Biden administration remains committed to “disrupting transnational criminal organizations including Mexican drug cartels and human smugglers.”

“We remain committed to applying the full weight of our efforts and resources to counter them,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.

“Right now. our immediate concerns are for the safe return of our citizens, the health and well-being of those who survived this attack, and the support which must be rendered to the families of those who need it.”

Andrea Blanco8 March 2023 04:00


Mexican officials reveal picture of person arrested in operation to recover four Americans

A picture of Jose Guadalupe “N” the person detained in the rescue operation is displayed during a press conference to give details after two American citizens were found dead in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, at Auditorium of Secretaria de Seguridad y Protección Ciudadana on March 07, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico.

(Getty Images)

Graeme Massie8 March 2023 03:30


Americans advised against travelling to area where kidnapping took place

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.

Andrea Blanco8 March 2023 03:00


Officials show images of where Americans found in Mexico

Images of the place where four American citizens were rescued are displayed on a screen during a press conference to give details after two American citizens were found dead in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, at Auditorium of Secretaria de Seguridad y Protección Ciudadana on March 07, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico.

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Graeme Massie8 March 2023 02:27


Suspect arrested in death of Mexico ‘tummy tuck’ tourists

Governor of Tamaulipas Américo Villarreal said during a press conference that the group was moved from different locations, including a clinic, during the three days that their kidnapping lasted in an attempt to throw off investigators.

Mr Villareal said that the “Clan del Golfo” is the cartel known to operate and control the area. Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica also said that Mexican officials believe members of the Gulf drug cartel are behind the attack.

Andrea Blanco8 March 2023 02:00


The group of Americans kidnapped in Mexico had asked a doctor’s office for directions before being ambushed.

“When I reached out to the doctor’s office they told me that Latavia had reached out to them to ask them for directions because she was lost,” an unnamed friend told CNN.

“They sent me a screenshot of the messages and they said they sent her the address and asked her if she was using a GPS.”


Graeme Massie8 March 2023 01:35


Survivor’s mother says she warned daughter about dangerous trip

Surviving kidnapping victim LaTavia McGee’s mother Barbara Burgess said she was worried about her daughter going and warned her it might not be safe. But, her daughter brushed off her concerns telling her: “Ma, I’ll be okay”.

Ms Burgess last heard from Ms McGee on Friday when she called to say that they were just 15 minutes from the cosmetic surgeon’s office where she was scheduled to have the procedure that day. She never heard from her daughter again.

Ms Burgess said she tried calling Ms McGee later that day but her phone went straight to voicemail.

Not long later, she said she received a visit from an FBI agent, revealing what had happened.

Ms McGee and Erick James Williams survived the attack, while Shaeed Woodard Zindell Brown and were killed

Andrea Blanco8 March 2023 01:00


NSC coordinator John Kirby decries killing of Americans in Matamoros

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also decried the attack on the American citizens and vowed to get justice for their families.

“We appreciate the hard work of the Justice Department the FBI and the DEA and the Department of Homeland Security … we’re grateful for their swift response to this dreadful incident and for their continued collaboration with Mexican authorities,” Mr Kirby told reporters.

“We’re going to work closely with the Mexican government to ensure that justice is done in this case.”

When asked whether the White House was considering policy changes in response to the attack, Mr Kirby said that there were no immediate remedies but insisted US authorities are working extensively to get the fatal victim’s bodies and the survivors back on American soil.

Andrea Blanco8 March 2023 00:00

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