A letter supposedly from the Mexican cartel allegedly behind the kidnapping and later killing of Americans last week declared it had dealt with the cartel members “involved and responsible” for the event and handed them over for the authorities to hold.
“We have decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events, who at all times acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline,” stated the letter from the Gulf Cartel.
A photo of five men lying face down on the ground and bound up accompanied the letter. The letter also apologized to the Matamoros, Mexico, residents where the kidnapping happened and expressed remorse for the death of an innocent Mexican woman in the incident.
An unnamed security official with the state told The Associated Press that five men had been located tied up inside one of the vehicles, along with the letter. Authorities had been searching for that vehicle, along with others.
Members of the Gulf Cartel kidnapped four Americans who had crossed the border from Brownsville, Texas, into Matamoros, Tamaulipas, last week. According to Ken Salazar, U.S. Ambassador, an innocent Mexican bystander, and two Americans were killed during the incident.
Reuters reviewed an internal government document indicating that Mexican law enforcement is investigating the likelihood that the kidnapping happened because cartel members thought the Americans had encroached on their turf.
The document gives details of the Americans, including drug-linked convictions against two of them. The Mexican government purportedly argued the information makes it feasible the Americans “could be directly linked to drug trafficking operations.”
Four Americans have been identified
The four Americans have been identified as Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown, Eric Williams, and LaTavia McGee, all from South Carolina. While the FBI has said, it cannot confirm the survivors’ identities, Williams and McGee have been identified by their families as survivors. Mexican authorities confirmed that Brown and Woodard are deceased.
According to Reuters reports, Woodard was convicted five times between 2007 and 2016 of drug crimes, almost all of which were minor offenses. Brown was convicted twice in 2015 for possessing concentrated cannabis or small amounts of marijuana. Williams also had a conviction in 2017 for manufacturing and distributing cocaine.
Ned Price, the U.S. State Department, stated at a Thursday press conference that officials have worked “diligently” and “around the clock” to repatriate the deceased and made not that sometimes the process details may cause delays. He emphasized that the United States will use “every tool” to pursue the cartels “to the fullest extend.”
Governor of Tamaulipas Americo Villareal said authorities located the four in a wooden shack guarded by a man they took into custody. The cartel had transported the Americans to various locations, including taking them to a medical clinic “to create confusion and avoid efforts to rescue them,” according to a report by WBTW.
On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland blamed the drug cartels for the incident and pledged the FBI and DEA “are doing everything possible to dismantle and disrupt and ultimately prosecute the leaders of the cartels and the entire networks that they depend on.”