SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Four U.S. citizens crossed the border into Matamoros, Mexico at Brownsville, Texas last Friday. Their license plate said the minivan was from North Carolina. They went to Mexico to buy prescription medication that they presumably were unable to purchase in the United States.
Why do Americans need to cross into Mexico or Canada to buy prescription drugs?
Shortly after the Americans crossed into Mexico, their white minivan came under heavy gunfire. Gunmen then surrounded the vehicle. The four passengers were taken, at gunpoint, to other vehicles and driven away at speed.
The authorities still don’t know if they four people are alive or dead. As of this writing, the FBI is offering U$D 50,000 for information that will lead to the return of the hostages and the capture of the kidnappers.
While the motives for the abduction are unclear, it is thought that the Americans were mistaken for members of a rival cartel.
Matamoros has long been plagued by violence between the various cartels in the area until regional power was consolidated into the hands of one group. The Gulf Cartel is the most well-known cartel and controls the area. Different factions of the cartel have been known to fight amongst one another. Over the years, the violence has escalated causing the U.S. government to travel warning advisories to U.S. citizens.
Amid the violence, thousands of Mexicans have disappeared just in Tamaulipas state, where Matamoros is located.