The FBI has confirmed that cartel gunmen shot and kidnapped four U.S. citizens in the border city of Matamoros on Friday. Mexican authorities are minimizing the case by claiming that an innocent bystander was the only victim of the shooting.
The shooting took place on Friday afternoon. Initial information indicated two clashes between gunmen in Matamoros. A video leaked on social media on the day of the shootout showed the moment when Gulf Cartel gunmen appear to take a kidnapped woman and three men who appeared to be deceased.
The FBI later revealed in a statement the victims are U.S. citizens who crossed into Mexico in a white minivan with North Carolina plates.
“Shortly after crossing into Mexico, unidentified gunmen fired upon the passengers in the vehicle,” an FBI statement revealed. “All four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men.”
The U.S. is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the location of the victims and the arrests of the responsible gunmen.
In the aftermath of the shooting, the Tamaulipas government confirmed the death of an innocent bystander who was getting off a city bus — but made no mention of the Americans. Officials also shut down the city’s schools for the rest of the day in expectation of further violence.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.