FBI Seeking 4 Americans Kidnapped In Mexico

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking the public’s help in locating four missing Americans who were kidnapped shortly after crossing into Mexico on March 3, according to a press release from the agency. 

Four Americans driving a white minivan with North Carolina plates were fired upon by unidentified gunmen near the city of Matamoros, Mexico, shortly after they crossed into the state of Tamaulipas, according to a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. The armed men placed all four Americans in a car and drove them away from the scene following the initial assault, the release continued.

The State Department has advised travelers not to go to Tamaulipas due to high incidents of crime and kidnapping.

“Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments,” according to a notice on the State Department’s official website.

The region is also patrolled by “heavily armed members of criminal groups” who freely operate in the region given local law enforcement has “limited capacity to respond” to the high incidents of crime, the advisory adds.

For years, Matamoras has served as the primary base of operations for the Gulf Cartel, one of the oldest organized crime groups in Mexico, NPR reported.

The FBI is currently investigating the incident in conjunction with federal partners and Mexican law enforcement officials, but authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect(s) behind the assault and kidnapping, Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio Division FBI Oliver Rich announced in the release.

The FBI is announcing a reward of $50,000 for the return of the victims and detainment of the individual(s) involved.