FBI: 4 Americans Shot and Kidnapped in Northern Mexico
FBI: 4 Americans Shot and Kidnapped in Northern Mexico. PHOTOS/Reuters
WASHINGTON – Authorities in the United States (US) and Mexico said they were working to secure the release of four US citizens who were shot and kidnapped in a northern Mexican border town.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a statement that the four US citizens crossed the border into Matamoros in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas on Friday (3/3/2023) in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates.
“Shortly after crossing into Mexico, an unidentified gunman opened fire on passengers in the vehicle,” the FBI said in a statement.
“The four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by gunmen,” the statement continued.
A Mexican official told Reuters news agency that three men and one woman were abducted.
“An innocent Mexican citizen tragically died in this incident,” said US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, adding that US law enforcement agencies were working closely with their Mexican partners “to ensure the safe return of our compatriots”.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the victims were believed to have entered the country to buy drugs and were caught up in a confrontation between criminal groups. He did not provide additional details.
Matamoros, a town across from Brownsville, Texas, is beset by violence related to drug trafficking and other organized crime. The highways in Tamaulipas are considered one of the most dangerous in the country due to threats of kidnapping and extortion by criminal gangs.
On Friday, the exchange of fire in Matamoros was so severe that the US consulate issued a warning of the danger and local authorities warned people to take shelter in the area.