Tragic Attack in Mexico Reminds US Citizens of Dangers of Traveling to High-Risk Areas
On Friday, March 3, 2023, four US citizens crossed the border into Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates. Shortly after their arrival, the vehicle was fired upon by unidentified gunmen, resulting in the kidnapping of all four passengers.
On Tuesday, the bodies of two of the kidnapped Americans, Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown, were found and the two survivors, Latavia Washington McGee and Eric Williams, were returned to Brownsville, Texas. Irving Barrios, the Attorney General, declared that there had been no ransom asked for and that all indications lead to the group having been subject to mistaken identity.
The US State Department has issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” warning for Tamaulipas due to crime and kidnapping. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has offered a $50,000 reward for the return of the victims and the arrest of those involved.
The US Department of State, Justice and Homeland Security are working with their Mexican counterparts to find the perpetrators. In addition, the US Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI are doing everything possible to dismantle and disrupt the drug cartel networks responsible for the attack.
Medical tourism to Mexico is on the rise, but it can come with risks. US citizens are discouraged from traveling to Tamaulipas, as well as Quintana Roo, which is where the popular vacation spot Cancun is located. If someone chooses to travel to high-risk areas, they are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and take extra precautions.
The wife of one of the survivors of the deadly Mexico kidnapping has spoken out, saying she is “heartbroken for the other two families who can’t say the same.” Mexican authorities are combing through surveillance footage and conducting multiple searches in an effort to track down the perpetrators.
This tragic attack serves as a reminder of the dangers of traveling to high-risk areas and the need for extra caution when doing so. The US government is doing everything in its power to identify and hold accountable those responsible for the attack on these Americans.
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