The Gulf Cartel’s Scorpions faction suspected to be responsible for the armed kidnapping a week prior that killed two American tourists and a Mexican woman in Matamoros, Mexico, released an apology letter and handed over five of their members to local authorities.
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Two American tourists killed
The corpses of the two deceased men, identified as Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown by Mexican authorities, were transferred to American authorities in Matamoros on Thursday afternoon, according to a witness.
According to an internal government document obtained by a media source, the kidnappings were probably carried out by a division of the Gulf Cartel in Mexico, and the gunmen may have thought that the Americans were intruding on the gang’s territory.
Photos of a letter purportedly written by a different cartel faction were shared on social media and in Mexican newspapers. In the letter, the gang expressed regret for what happened in Matamoros and announced it was turning over five of the men responsible for the kidnappings.
The Gulf Cartel in Mexico
According to Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a scholar at George Mason University who specializes in cartels, it is typical for Mexican cartels to send statements to the government or competing organizations after notable occurrences, particularly in the northeast of the country.
The source who verified the letter’s apparent legitimacy stated that US and Mexican law enforcement officials looking into the kidnapping have serious doubts about the group’s explanation. However, they believe the apology was made after the crime received a great deal of media notice and scrutiny of the cartel’s operations.
A US official who was briefed on the arrest said that the development came after a local Gulf Cartel leader who was wanted for prior kidnappings was detained by Mexican officials in Reynosa.
According to reports, the letter showed a picture of five bound and face-down men and claimed that those responsible for the incident had acted under their own decision-making and violated the order to protect the well-being and lives of the vulnerable.
According to the other media outlets, the note also contained a note of regret to the four Americans and their families, as well as to the locals of Matamoros and the Mexican bystander who also succumbed in the firefight.
A different state security official told the AP that the letter and five men who were tied up inside a car were discovered by Mexican officials. Tamaulipas State Police arrested the five individuals, according to numerous sources.
Meanwhile, a Mexican source stated that the two dead Americans would be returned to their families on Thursday after State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated on Wednesday that the United States was still coordinating with Mexican authorities to do so. Presently, the two surviving Americans are being treated at a hospital in Texas.
James Woodard, father of one of the victims stated that his son’s cousin, Latavia McGee, had surprised him with the fatal road trip as a birthday getaway. He claimed that when he learned that the cartel had expressed regret for the bloody kidnapping, he was left speechless.
Following the deaths of the Americans, National Guard soldiers and an Army special forces unit began conducting patrols that, in narco terminology, “heat up the plaza,” according to Mexican security analyst David Saucedo.