LIVE THREAD: 4 Americans Kidnapped in Matamoros, FBI Offering Reward, US Ambassador Visiting Mexican Officials

 Borderland Beat Contributors 

The FBI announced that a minivan carrying the U.S. citizens were shot at shortly after crossing from Texas into the Mexico border city of Matamoros.

News organizations are now confirming that this incident is the same attack in which cartel members can be seen carrying off bodies on video. 

Details of The March 3 Attack

A shooting and vehicle crash occurred on March 3, 2023, in the border city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Various images and videos alleged to depict the attack were shared on social media. 

Initial reports from El Universal and Heraldo de México allege that state police officers engaged in a shooting with armed men. A Mexican woman who was reportedly struck by a stray bullet, which caused her to fall to the ground and bleed to death. Images of her lying on the sidewalk were shared on social media platforms like Twitter.

After the initial shooting, the armed men allegedly sped away but state police officers pursued them, leading to a second shootout. Videos of this can be seen below.

At some point, a white minivan crashed into a red SUV. Initial reports from El Universal alleged that the armed men were driving the white minivan however later video appears to show the people in the white minivan were not armed. 

An image of some of the white minivan’s passengers can be seen below.

A video posted on social media appears to show armed men loading three unresponsive (possibly deceased) males and one injured female into the bed of their white pickup truck. This video can be seen below.

Tamaulipas state police later released a statement which goes as follows: “During the last hour two armed incidents have occurred between unidentified civilians, lamenting loss of life and injuries.”

US Embassy Press Release

On March 5, 2023, the US embassy put out the following press release, saying: 

The FBI is seeking the public’s help to identify the person(s) responsible for the assault and kidnapping of four American citizens, on March 3, 2023 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

The FBI, its federal partners, and Mexican law enforcement authorities are investigating the case. The FBI announced that it is offering a $50,000 reward for the return of the victims and the capture of those involved. 

On March 3, 2023, four United States citizens crossed into Matamoros, Tamaulipas in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates. Shortly after crossing into Mexico, unidentified gunmen shot the passengers of the vehicle. The gunmen herded the four US citizens into another vehicle and fled the scene with them.

The public is urged to call the San Antonio Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 210-225-6741 with any information. Information can also be provided online at . Persons providing information may remain anonymous.

On March 5, 2023, news organization CNN confirmed that this March 3rd incident is the same one being described by the FBI as a kidnapping of American citizens. 

Victim’s White Minivan

Officials have not released the identities of the US citizens but they have stated that the victim’s white minivan had North Carolina license plates.

Sources: El Universal, La Jornada, Heraldo de México, Tamaulipas Código Rojo, El Guzman Post 1, Post 2, KRGV, CNN

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