Mexico City, MEXICO – Four American citizens were kidnapped at gunpoint on Friday after gunmen opened fire on their minivan in the northern city of Matamoros, just across the border from Brownsville, Texas, and incident was captured on video (video below).
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) San Antonio office released a statement about the March 3 kidnapping on Sunday that said the vehicle full of Americans came under fire shortly after it crossed into Mexico, the Associated Press reported.
“All four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men,” the statement read.
The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for the return of the victims and the arrest of the culprits, according to the Associated Press.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar released a statement on Monday the four American citizens were kidnapped at gunpoint.
Salazar also said that an “innocent” Mexican citizen was killed in the attack, the Associated Press reported.
The ambassador didn’t offer more details but said multiple U.S. law enforcement agencies were working with their Mexican counterparts in a bid to find and rescue the missing Americans.
Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on March 6 that the kidnap victims had crossed the border into Mexico to buy medicine, but got caught in the crossfire between two armed groups, the Associated Press reported.
The warring factions of the Gulf drug cartel engaged in shootouts on March 3 that were so bad that the U.S. Consulate issued an alert about the danger.
Local authorities warned residents to shelter in place, according to the Associated Press.
Police have not yet said whether they have identified any connection between the warring drug factions and the kidnapping of the Americans.
Tamaulipas State Police said people had been killed and wounded during the shootouts on March 3 but would not say how many victims there were, the Associated Press reported.
The state police said Friday’s shootouts did not involved law enforcement or Mexican military.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:
Just the usual dragging of bodies after a cartel shootout in broad daylight, today in Matamoros.#Mexico #Narcostate #FailedState pic.twitter.com/bfWwNgjBcB
— David Wolf (@DavidWolf777) March 4, 2023