The governor of Tamaulipas told Reuters on Tuesday that two of the four Americans who were taken hostage in Mexico are dead and that the other two are still alive.
The governor of Tamaulipas, Américo Villarreal, said on Tuesday that one of the two Americans who are still alive was hurt and the other was not, but that two of the four Americans who went to Mexico were found dead.
Two of the four Americans who lived through the attack are now back in the United States. After crossing the U.S. Mexico border, the four Americans were caught in the crossfire between two rival drug cartels. They were then taken away.
At a news conference on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the FBI had told him about what was going on in Mexico and that the State Department was working with Mexican authorities to find out what was going on.
Garland sent his condolences to the families of the people who died in the attacks. Later that day, he made a statement confirming that two Americans died in the attacks.
The attorney general also said that the Justice Department would work to bring the cartel members who were responsible for the incident to court.
Dramatic video shows the moment four Americans were taken after they crossed into Mexico. The authorities say it was a case of mistaken identity.
The video of the violent event shows armed men in body armour dragging one person across the pavement and pushing a woman into the bed of a white truck. They then drag two more men who look like they are hurt across the pavement and load them into the same truck’s bed.
Photos from the scene show that a white minivan with North Carolina licence plates was riddled with bullet holes soon after the kidnappings. A woman who allegedly saw the attack tells the Associated Press that she saw the minivan hit another car before hearing gunfire and seeing armed men approach the van.
The woman, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation said –
“All of a sudden they (the gunmen) were in front of us.”
“I entered a state of shock, nobody honked their horn, nobody moved. Everybody must have been thinking the same thing, ‘If we move they will see us, or they might shoot us.’”
She also said that she saw the men force a woman who could walk into the back of their truck, and she saw them load a man whose head could move into the truck as well. She said –
“The other two they dragged across the pavement, we don’t know if they were alive or dead.”
Law enforcement says that the group of Americans were driving to Mexico last week to get medical care when a group of armed men attacked their minivan and shot at it.
They then pulled the Americans out of the van and put them in a truck. No one thought that the attack was meant to hurt the four Americans.
The group went from Brownsville, Texas, into the Mexican city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas. This is an area that has been troubled by cartel violence, and the State Department warns Americans not to go there.
Zindell Brown was one of the four Americans in the group. On Tuesday, his sister Zalandria Brown of Florence, South Carolina, said that she had been in touch with the FBI and Mexican authorities since the incident. Brown told the Associated Press –
“This is like a bad dream you wish you could wake up from.”
“To see a member of your family thrown in the back of a truck and dragged, it is just unbelievable.”
Brown said that her younger brother is from Myrtle Beach and was in Mexico with three friends, one of whom was there to get a tummy tuck.
She also said that her brother didn’t want to go on the trip and warned his friends before they left about the dangers. Brown said –
“Zindell kept saying, ‘We shouldn’t go down.’”
O’dell William Brown, the victim’s father, said that the news has left the family in shock.
“I don’t know which way to go right now.”
“We don’t know what’s what.”
It’s not clear if Brown was one of the people who died in the incident. The FBI is offering a reward of $50,000 for information that leads to the victims being found and the people who hurt them being caught.