Mexican cartel reportedly apologizes for killing 2 US citizens, kidnapping another – National

A letter claiming to be from a Mexican drug cartel accused it of kidnapping four Americans and killing two of them and condemned the violence that the gang attributed to its own members.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press through a Tamaulipas state law enforcement source, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf Cartel apologized to residents of Matamoros, where the Americans were kidnapped, the Mexican woman who died in the cartel shootout, and Four Americans and their families.

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“We have decided to hand over those who were directly involved and responsible for the incidents, who at all times acted under the influence of their own decision-making and lack of discipline,” the letter read. Including “respecting the life and well-being of the innocent”.

The letter is accompanied by a photo of the five people bound and gagged on the pavement, which was shared with The Associated Press by the source on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share the document.

State officials did not immediately publicly confirm the new suspects in custody.

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A separate state security official said five people with the letter were found bundled up inside a vehicle that authorities were searching for. That official also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter.

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Last Friday, four Americans came to Matamoros from Texas so that one of them could have cosmetic surgery. They were fired upon in downtown Matamoros around noon and then loaded into a pickup truck.

Another friend, who lived in Brownsville, had called police on Friday morning after being unable to reach the group crossing the border.

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Martin Sandoval, a spokesman for the Brownsville Police Department, said Thursday that officers followed protocol by checking local hospitals and jails after receiving reports of missing persons. Within hours a detective was assigned to the case and the FBI was alerted after realizing people had entered Mexico. Shortly after, the FBI took over the case after social media videos began showing shootouts with victims matching the description of the missing persons.

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Officers located him on the outskirts of the city on Tuesday morning, guarded by one of the men arrested. Two Americans were killed, one was wounded and the other was unhurt.

On Tuesday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland blamed drug cartels for the deaths of Americans.

“The DEA and the FBI are doing everything possible to destroy and disrupt and ultimately prosecute the leaders of the cartel and the entire network,” Garland said.

Also on Thursday, the Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office said it had seized an ambulance and a medical clinic in Matamoros that was allegedly used to provide treatment to Americans after the shooting.

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The statement said the Americans told investigators they were taken to the clinic in an ambulance for first aid. By reviewing police surveillance video from around the city, officers were able to identify the ambulance and find the clinic. According to the statement, no arrests were made at the clinic.

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