MEXICO CITY (AP) — Two of four Americans kidnapped in Mexico last week when their van was caught in a shootout have been found dead, a top Mexican official said Tuesday. The two others were found alive, with one injured.
Tamaulipas governor Américo Villarreal did not provide details on the extent of the wounded’s injuries, saying: “At the moment, the ambulances and the rest of the security personnel will provide the corresponding support.” The governor did not share additional details about where or how they were found.
The FBI had reported on Sunday that it was working with Mexican authorities to find the missing Americans, who were abducted on Friday. A relative of one said Monday they traveled together from South Carolina so one of them could get a tummy tuck from a doctor in the border town of Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas.
Shortly after entering Mexico, they were caught fighting between rival cartel groups in the city. A video showed gunmen loading them into the back of a pickup truck. Mexican officials said a Mexican woman was also killed in crossfire on Friday.
Villarreal confirmed the death by telephone during a morning press conference of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who said details about the four kidnapped Americans had been confirmed by prosecutors.
Obrador complained about the American media’s coverage of the missing Americans, accusing them of sensationalist things. “It’s not like when they kill Mexicans in the United States they go quiet like mummies.”
“It is very unfortunate, they (the US government) have a right to protest as they have,” he said. “We deeply regret that this is happening in our country.”
The incident illustrates the terror that has reigned for years in Matamoros, a city dominated by factions of the powerful Gulf drug cartel that often fight among themselves. Thousands of Mexicans have disappeared amid the violence in the state of Tamaulipas alone.