Mexico’s Gulf Cartel ‘Apologizes’ — Turns In Members Who Kidnapped Americans
The Gulf Cartel allegedly issued a letter saying it “apologizes” for the kidnapping and murder of the Americans, plus the death of an “innocent” Mexican woman who was near the scene. Asserting the five members acted “against the rules,” the cartel tied them up and left them in a truck parked in a Matamoros intersection. Police found them on Thursday morning alongside the handwritten note.
About the tragedy that occurred last week in Matamoros
Four Americans, Zindell Brown, Latavia “Tay” McGee, Shadeed Woodard and Eric James Williams, were kidnapped shortly after driving into Mexico from Brownsville, Texas last week. McGee allegedly traveled to Matamoros for a tummy tuck surgery, and her three friends accompanied her.
However, as they drove their white minivan into Matamoros, the vehicle began to receive gunfire. Alleged cartel members kidnapped the four friends and loaded them into a truck. As per Fox, two of them already appeared to be dead, or suffering from severe injuries.
Tamaulipas state Governor Américo Villarreal said in a press conference that McGee and Williams survived the kidnapping, while Woodard and Brown tragically died. Their remains were handed over to the U.S., and they were identified by loved ones.
Mexican security forces found and rescued McGee and Williams from a Matamoros shack on Tuesday.
An innocent Mexican woman died from a stray bullet
Meanwhile, there was another, less-reported victim of the incident: a Mexican woman named Arely Servando. The 33-year-old woman was caught in the crossfire, and shot by a stray bullet. She worked in a church teaching children and had an “honest job” in a printing store. Her close friend told El Universal that she was a “true daughter of God.”
Servando was hit by the bullet as she stood almost a block and a half away from the scene.
As journalist Ildefonso Ortiz wrote, Servando “lost her life to the horrors of cartel violence, but most news outlets forgot about her.”
Amid so much tragedy, the Gulf Cartel is reportedly apologizing for the incident by turning in the five members responsible. As reported by Washington Post, the men were found tied up in a truck, with a note claiming to be from the cartel saying it “strongly condemns” the act.
All about the letter left with the five men
The letter explained, “Unfortunately an innocent working mother died… and four American citizens were kidnapped, of which two died. For this reason, we have decided to hand over those involved and directly responsible.”
As per the handwritten note, the members “acted under their own determination and indiscipline, and against the [cartel’s] rules.” Basically? The Gulf Cartel seems to be separating themselves from this incident as much as possible.
In the letter, the cartel also wrote that they “respect the life, tranquility, and integrity of the innocent,” and apologized to the people of Matamoros, Servando’s family, the American victims, and their families. They also described their commitment to make sure nothing like this happens again. The cartel asserted, “the guilty parties will pay.”
It is important to note that there is no confirmation that the five men left bound in the truck are indeed the men who kidnapped and murdered the victims. There is no official confirmation that the letter is indeed from the Gulf Cartel either. However, a senior law enforcement official told NBC News that “U.S. authorities believe the letter is legitimate.” Moreover, a faction of the cartel named the Scorpions allegedly signed the letter.
While more information is still to come, Tamaulipas state Attorney General Irving Barrios said the men are in custody and in questioning.
Barrios explained that the men admitted to involvement, “but that they hadn’t killed anybody.”
Meanwhile, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that a task force will “ensure that justice is done next.”