On March 3, four Americans were kidnapped in broad daylight by members of Mexico’s infamous Gulf cartel while traveling in the border city of Matamoros so one of them could get a discounted tummy tuck. Two of the kidnapping victims were found dead just days later, and the other two were found injured, but alive.

In response to the kidnapping and murders, the cartel turned in five of its members to the Mexican police, claiming they were the only ones responsible for the violent offenses and that they acted on their own.

The five men were found tied up in a car with a letter accompanying them that was from the Sorpions faction of the Gulf cartel, stating that these men acted alone and apologizing for their kidnapping of Americans.

“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 said. It also emphasized that their actions went against the rules of the cartel, which include “respecting the life and well-being of the innocent.”

They apologized to “the society of Matamoros… the affected American individuals, and families.”


“In addition the CDG asks society to remain calm because we are committed to ensure that these errors caused by indiscipline aren’t repeated. The guilt parties will pay, regardless of who they are,” the letter said.

Accompanying the letter was a photograph of the five men laying face down on the pavement while tied up.

The cartel handing over five of its members took place just after Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) hinted at introducing new legislation that would “set the stage” for the U.S. to use force in Mexico.

“I would put Mexico on notice,” Graham said. “If you continue to give safe haven to drug dealers, then you are an enemy of the United States.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador pushed back on U.S. lawmakers for suggesting military action against Mexican drug cartels, saying, “We are not going to allow any foreign government to intervene, much less a foreign government’s armed forces.”

“We are not a protectorate of the United States, nor a colony of the United States. Mexico is a free, independent, sovereign state,” said López Obrador.

The Americans killed in the kidnapping were Zindell Brown and Shaeed Woodard. An innocent Mexican bystander, Arely Servando, was also killed by a stray bullet during the kidnapping.

A woman named LaTavia Washington McGee and a man named Eric Williams survived the kidnapping.

Zindell Brown
Shaeed Woodard
Arely Servando

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