Those who made it back to American soil had been rushed to the border near Brownsville, Texas’s southernmost tip, in an ambulance and SUV convoy protected by Mexican military Humvees and National Guard trucks equipped with mounted machine guns.

On Monday, a relative of one of the victims said that the four had traveled together from the Carolinas to the Mexican border city of Matamoros for a tummy tuck surgery on Friday.

The governor of Tamaulipas, Américo Villarreal, said the four were discovered in a wooden shack with a man who was arrested as a guard. According to Villarreal, the Americans in captivity were moved around by their captors, and at one point were even taken to a medical clinic “to create confusion and avoid efforts to rescue them.”
Following completion of forensic testing at the Matamoros morgue, the governor has stated that the two bodies will be transferred to US authorities.

American Eric Williams was shot in the left leg, but according to Villareal, his injury is not life threatening. According to the Brownsville Herald, the survivors were accompanied to Valley Regional Medical Center by the FBI. The hospital’s spokesperson said that the FBI should be contacted for further information.

In a rural area called Ejido Tecolote to the east of Matamoros, on the way to the Gulf coast known as “Bagdad Beach,” the Americans were discovered, as reported by the chief prosecutor of Tamaulipas, Irving Barrios.

The four Americans were captured early Friday morning as they entered Mexico, in the midst of violence between two rival drug cartels. According to Barrios, “it was confusion, not a direct attack.”

In stills and clips from the time of the kidnapping and its immediate aftermath, the white minivan belonging to the abducted Americans can be seen parked next to another car, with at least one bullet hole in the driver’s side window. One eyewitness reported hearing the sound of metal on metal when the two cars collided. Soon after, another car pulled up, and out of it emerged a group of men in tactical gear and carrying assault rifles.

One of the Americans was led by the gunmen into the back of a white pickup, and the other three were dragged and loaded. Others sat silently in their vehicles, afraid to make any noise in case the police noticed them. At least two of the victims were unresponsive.

A Mexican woman who was a block and a half away from the scene was also killed, according to officials on Friday.
The city of Matamoros has been plagued by violence between rival groups of the powerful Gulf drug cartel for years, and these shootings are indicative of the city’s pervasive climate of fear. Thousands of Mexicans have vanished across the country, but the state of Tamaulipas has been hit the hardest.

In a telephone interview, Robert Williams claimed that his brother, Eric Williams, 38, was one of the Americans held hostage. He said the brothers originally hail from South Carolina but are now based out of the Winston-Salem, North Carolina region.

Williams said his brother was a relaxed and joyful person.
He found out his brother had been kidnapped in Mexico after hearing the news. However, based on his sibling’s Facebook updates, he concludes that he did not think the journey was risky.

He thought it would be entertaining,” Williams explained. He said he didn’t know where his brother was and that he hadn’t heard anything.

The people responsible, according to President López Obrador of Mexico, will be punished. He made a reference to the nine US-Mexican dual citizens who were murdered in Sonora in 2019.

He had a problem with the sensationalized reporting on the missing Americans in the US media. It’s not like the media “go quiet like mummies” when murders of Mexicans occur in the United States.

Although it’s unfortunate, López Obrador acknowledged that the United States government has the right to express its displeasure in this way. We are deeply saddened by the fact that this is happening in our nation.

As US Attorney General Merrick Garland put it, “the cartels are responsible for the deaths of Americans.” The DEA and FBI “are doing everything possible to dismantle, disrupt, and ultimately prosecute the leaders of the cartels and the entire networks that they rely on,” as reported by the media.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council in the White House, said that the United States is cooperating with Mexican authorities to investigate the killings.

The FBI had previously announced a $50,000 reward for information leading directly to the safe return of the victims and the capture of the perpetrators.