Americans in Mexico killed, questions over who is involved remain


Latavia Washington McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindella Brown, and Eric Williams spotted. (Google images.)

On March 3rd, four Americans named Latavia Washington McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindella Brown, and Eric Williams were kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico by five members of the Cartel del Golfo leaving both Brown and Woodard killed. 

The kidnapped Americans were finally located in a wooden house in a rural area on the east border of Matamoros. 

Washington was found uninjured while Williams was found shot twice in one leg and once in his other leg. During the encounter, an additional bystander was killed. 

The Americans crossed the border in a car crossing the border of Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros.

The Americans were being pursued for a few hours until the Americans crashed into another car. After they crashed the Cartel members jumped out and kidnapped the four Americans. 

Original reports say that the Cartel members had mistaken the Americans for Haitian drug traffickers for the reason they were captured. 

One person was arrested by the Mexican police thought to be related to the incident. 

Williams when asked about why she went to Mexico in the first place said that she went for a medical procedure. 

During the first few days, the FBI released a $50,000 dollar reward for anyone who could find the Americans who were kidnapped. 

After the State Department found out about this incident, they released a warning to travelers to avoid going to Matamoros. 

A letter was left by the cartel apologizing for the incident.
(Google images)

The Cartel, after seeing the increasing publication of this news, released five men they claimed were involved in the kidnapping of the Americans saying that the men had acted on their own accord. These five men had never faced trial for anything before this incident. Additionally, the Cartel released a letter taped to the front window of a car apologizing for the incident. 

The letter says “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’” when translated to English. 

The reason for the Cartel doing this in the first place is speculated with the most likely reason being that the kidnapping and killing of the Americans would draw unneeded attention from the FBI to investigate them so releasing the people and a letter is a way for the Cartel to get the FBI off their backs. 

Three of the four Americans in the kidnapping were found to have a criminal history already, all related to drug charges. 

Woodard was convicted of drug offenses five times between 2007 and 2016. One of those charges is a charge of manufacturing prohibited narcotics with intent to distribute. All of these charges are misdemeanors. 

Brown was convicted two times in 2015 of possession of small amounts of marijuana or concentrated cannabis. Williams was convicted in 2017 of distributing and manufacturing cocaine.  

Williams was convicted in 2017 of distributing and manufacturing cocaine.  

Online this has created suspicions on sites like Reddit saying that the real reason some of the Americans went to Mexico was to pick up drugs. A user in the subreddit going by u/edomsn claims that “These are drug dealers, that BBL surgery excuse is Hogwash”. Other users commented on the post mocking the excuse the Americans gave as well. This claim has yet to be confirmed by the authorities.