CIUDAD, Victoria, Mexico (AP) — Two of four Americans died in Mexico last week after their van was caught in a shootout by a rival cartel group, a senior Mexican official said Tuesday. Two of his remaining are alive and one is injured.
Tamaulipas Governor Americo Villarreal confirmed the death by phone during a morning press conference with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and said details about the four Americans abducted had been confirmed by prosecutors.
The FBI said on Sunday it was searching with Mexican authorities for the missing American who was kidnapped on Friday. A relative of one of them said on Monday, Traveling together from South Carolina, one of them was able to get a tummy tuck from the Matamoros doctor.
Shortly after entering Mexico on Friday, they were caught in a shootout from a rival cartel group. A video showed them being loaded into the back of a pickup truck by gunmen.
“Of the four, two are dead, one injured and one alive. Ambulances and the rest of the security guards are now looking for them to provide corresponding assistance,” said Villarreal. said.
The governor did not share additional details about where or how they were found. We were expected to share.
The U.S. citizen was found en route to a local beach known as Playa Baghdad in a rural area called Ejid Longoreño, east of Matamoros. Authorities received word of their whereabouts before dawn on Tuesday.
Mexican officials said a Mexican woman was also killed in the shootout on Friday.
The incident marks years of rampant terrorism in Matamoros, a city controlled by a powerful drug cartel faction in the Gulf. Amidst the violence, thousands of Mexicans have gone missing in Tamaulipas alone.