2 US Citizens Found Dead, 2 Found Alive After Kidnapping in Matamoros

On Friday, March 5th, four US citizens were kidnapped at gunpoint in Matamoros, a city on the Mexico border near Texas. The four had crossed from Texas into Mexico to undergo a cosmetic surgical procedure. However, a shootout ensued which resulted in the death of at least one Mexican citizen. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a $50,000 reward for the return of the victims and the arrest of those involved.

The U.S. State Department has classified Matamoros and the surrounding state of Tamaulipas as a “Do Not Travel” area due to a high risk of kidnapping and assault.[0] The area is also known for its high murder rate and rampant cartel activity.

On Tuesday, US and Mexican officials announced that two of the four kidnapped Americans had been found dead, while two were found alive. The two survivors, identified by family as North Carolina residents Latavia Washington McGee and Eric Williams, were taken to a Texas hospital for treatment and observation.[1] Washington McGee was reportedly uninjured, whereas Williams was shot twice in one leg and once in the other.[2]

Video footage circulating online reportedly shows the attack on Friday, with armed men dragging three visibly injured men onto the back of a pickup truck which a woman was already forced to board.[3] The FBI’s reward for the return of the victims and the arrest of those involved still stands.

0. “Following fatal kidnapping, officials offer travel safety tips to Americans visiting Mexico” KRGV, 8 Mar. 2023, https://www.krgv.com/news/following-fatal-kidnapping-officials-offer-travel-safety-tips-to-americans-visiting-mexico

1. “Two Americans dead, one injured in Mexico kidnapping: Official” Al Jazeera English, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/3/7/two-americans-dead-one-injured-in-mexico-kidnapping-official

2. “4 Americans kidnapped in Mexico identified as South Carolina mother and friends traveling for a medical procedure” CNN, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/07/americas/mexico-matamoros-us-citizens-kidnapping-tuesday

3. “Americans Kidnapped While Seeking Medical Care in Mexico” The Cut, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.thecut.com/2023/03/americans-kidnapped-while-seeking-medical-care-in-mexico.html