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Mexican gang said to apologize over deaths of Americans

Mexico Missing Americans
Mexico shooting
Mexico Missing Americans
Posted at 11:57 AM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-09 11:57:41-05

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — Someone claiming to be the Mexican drug cartel allegedly responsible for the abduction of four Americans and the killing of two of them has condemned the violence and purportedly turned over its own members who were involved to authorities.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press through a Tamaulipas state law enforcement source, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf cartel allegedly responsible for abducting the Americans apologized to the residents of Matamoros, the Mexican woman who died in the shooting and the four Americans and their families.

Drug cartels have been known to issue communiques to intimidate rivals and authorities, but also at times like these to do some public relations work to try to smooth over situations that could affect their business.

"We have decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events, who at all times acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline," the letter reads, adding that those individuals had gone against the cartel's rules, which include "respecting the life and well-being of the innocent."

A photograph of five men face down on the pavement and bound accompanied the letter, which was shared with The Associated Press by the source on condition that they remain anonymous because they were not authorized to share the document.

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

A separate state security official said that five men had been found tied up inside one of the vehicles that authorities had been searching for, along with the letter. That official also spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case.

Last Friday, four Americans crossed into Matamoros from Texas so that one of them could get a cosmetic surgery procedure. Around midday they were fired on in downtown Matamoros and then loaded into a pickup truck.

Authorities located them Tuesday morning on the outskirts of the city, guarded by a man who was arrested. Two of the Americans were dead, one was wounded and the other was unharmed.