Mexico Kidnappings Turn Fatal


ABC News

The infamous white minivan the four kidnapped citizen were traveling in before being gunned down by the Gulf Cartel

On March 3, 2023, four American citizens were fatally kidnapped in Matamoros, Tamaulipas Mexico. The four individuals (three men and one woman) were apparently in Mexico for cosmetic surgery. It has been known that all four victims were from South Carolina. U.S. officials have stated that the American citizens were similar to Haitian drug smugglers by the members of the Gulf Cartel, one of the most powerful cartels in Mexico.  


The state prosecutor of Tamaulipas, Irving Barrios, stated in a news conference, “there was confusion, that it wasn’t a targeted attack.”


It started last Friday as Zindell Brown passed the border into Mexico with his three friends to receive a tummy tuck, but unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst. Within minutes of passing through the border town, Matamoros, the four citizens were shot at by gunmen in their white minivan. 


The friends were originally driving down to the border from Brownsville, Texas when they were ambushed by gunfire. The FBI has stated the gunmen put the American citizens into another vehicle and drove off.  


On March 8, four days after the kidnappings, the Mexican government confirmed Zindell Brown and one other individual died after being shot during the crossfire. The other two American citizens survived and were found along with the dead bodies in a house just outside of the city. 


Regina Downs, a manager of Monterey Bay Suites, explained that Mr. Woodward (one of the kidnapped citizens), “…was always willing to work and always very friendly”. Micheal Graham, who was friends with 3 of the four victims, stated, “They went everywhere together…you saw one, you saw all four.” 


Just days later, the Gulf Cartel (the cartel responsible for the kidnappings) sent a letter to the authorities, apologizing to the families involved. The letter also blamed the individuals involved in the deaths, even turning them in to the police. 


The letter reads, “We have decided to turn over those who were directly involved in the events, who at all times acted under their own decision-making and lacked a disciple.” The cartel also stated that the individuals had gone against the cartel rules. 


The American citizens involved were the latest victims in Mexico’s violence that is unable to be controlled, meanwhile; the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, promises his security strategy is working. 


A security analyst from Mexico City, Alejandro Hope, commented on the subject stating, “It feeds the narrative that Mexico is a lawless place, that Mexico has no capabilities of its own to deal with this and that the U.S. needs to do something.”