4 Americans were kidnapped after crossing the border into Mexico to buy medicine, Mexico's president says. It's becoming more common for Americans to go searching for medication there.
Four Americans were kidnapped after crossing the border to buy medication in Mexico.
The kidnapping happened on March 3. On March 7, two were found alive and two deceased.
The US citizens had North Carolina license plates. A Mexican citizen was killed in the confrontation.
Four US citizens who crossed the US-Mexico border for a medical procedure were kidnapped in Mexico on Friday after a confrontation between armed groups.
On Monday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed at a press conference that four Americans were abducted by groups on March 3, in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, near the Rio Grande and southern US border with Brownsville, Texas.
The group crossed into Mexico in a white van with North Carolina license plates, before they were fired at and taken by armed gunman, per the FBI. An unnamed US official told CNN that the Americans may not have been the intended targets.
"We are paying attention," Obrador said at a press conference on Monday. "The information we have is that they were from the US and crossed the border to buy medicine in Mexico. There was a confrontation between groups and they were detained. All of the government is working on it."
On Tuesday, Mexican officials confirmed two of the Americans were found dead. The two survivors were rescued in Tamaulipas.
The FBI offered $50,000 reward for the return of the victims, and the arrest of the kidnappers.
Attorney General Merrick Garland released a statement on Tuesday confirming the FBI "immediately contacted" Mexican law enforcement and security partners in an attempt to locate the victims after learning that the four Americans were attacked.
The two surviving Americans are receiving medical treatment back in the US, Garland said.
"The Justice Department will be relentless in pursuing justice on their behalf," Garland said Tuesday. "We will do everything in our power to identify, find, and hold accountable the individuals responsible for this attack on American citizens."
US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said that a Mexican citizen was killed during the confrontation.
"On Friday, March 3rd, unknown assailants in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, violently kidnapped at gunpoint four US citizens in an incident in which an innocent Mexican citizen was tragically killed," Ken Salazar, the US ambassador to Mexico said in a statement. "US law enforcement officials from numerous agencies are working with Mexican authorities at all levels of government to secure the safe return of our compatriots."
A woman driving by witnessed the confrontation, and said two of the van's occupants were dragged out, according to The Associated Press.
The Gulf cartel has a heavy presence in Matamoros, where kidnappings and violence between armed factions have become common. Thousands of Mexicans have disappeared amid the infighting, the AP reported.
Insider previously reported that it was unclear what medical procedures or medications the Americans had crossed to purchase. Relatives then told CNN and ABC News that the group traveled to Mexico for one of them to get a tummy tuck procedure.
For over a decade, Americans have traveled to Mexico for cheaper prescription drugs, such as Insulin, which can be thousands of dollars cheaper in Mexico, according to Kaiser Health News.
In 2015, the US federal government estimated that nearly 1 million Californians crossed into Mexico for health care reasons, including to buy medication.
However, one type of medication, in particular, has become increasingly sought after in recent months. Following the US Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, one Mexican abortion rights activist told Insider that American women were seeking abortion medication from Mexico on a daily basis.
Read the original article on Insider