The Associated Press reported Thursday it had obtained a letter of apology from the Mexican drug cartel that’s blamed for the deadly kidnapping of four Americans.
In the letter, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf cartel reportedly condemn the violence, adding that the gang had turned in to authorities its own members who were responsible for the crime.
The four Americans—Zindell Brown, Eric James Williams and cousins Latavia “Tay” McGee and Shaeed Woodard—were kidnapped after they crossed the U.S. border into Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico for medical treatments. Video allegedly shows them being fired upon, placed in a vehicle and taken away by armed men. Two of the Americans, Woodward and Brown, were found dead while McGee and Williams survived the assault.
The Americans were believed to have been victims of mistaken identity and the cartel’s letter, if accurate, would seem to bear that out.
Autopsies were completed Wednesday morning in Mexico, according to the Tamaulipas Prosecutor’s Office, though Mexican authorities have not released causes of death. Second autopsies will be performed in the U.S.
A photograph of five bound men face down on a pavement accompanied the apology letter, according to the AP. Mexican state officials have not publicly confirmed having new suspects in custody. However, a separate security official told the AP that five men had been found tied up inside one of the vehicles the authorities had been looking for.
Further, the Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office said it had seized an ambulance and a medical clinic in Matamoros that were allegedly used to provide treatment to the Americans after the shooting.
The surviving Americans told investigators they were taken to the clinic in an ambulance to receive first aid, according to the state prosecutor’s statement. It goes on to say that by reviewing police surveillance video around the city, authorities were able to identify the ambulance and find the clinic. However, no arrests were made at the clinic.
PHOTO: Map with Tamaulipas in red