Photos sent to Mexican law enforcement from Matamoros on the morning of March 9 in which five cartel henchmen were dumped alongside a banner apologizing for a kidnapping on Friday that killed two Americans.
The cartel allegedly responsible for the kidnapping of four Americans and the murder of two in the Mexican border city of Matamoros last week turned in five of its men and apologized for the “mistake” on the morning of Thursday March 9.
The Scorpions group, which is an armed branch of the legendary Gulf Cartel that has dominated the northeastern side of Mexico for decades, left a narco-banner alongside five men who were beaten up and had their hands tied inside a black pick-up truck. The banner asked the “American families and people in Matamoros” for forgiveness after their mistake of killing and kidnapping four Americans last week, according to sources in Matamoros and news reports.
“The men responsible for these actions acted under their own will and lack of discipline against the CDG [Gulf Cartel] rules. We apologize to the family of Miss Arely and the rest of the American families,” the banner signed by the Scorpions and Gulf Cartel said.
On March 3rd, four U.S. citizens were attacked and kidnapped shortly after crossing the Texas border into Matamoros, Mexico. Video of the aftermath of the assault showed a group of armed men forcing an American woman into the back of a white pickup truck. The bodies of the other three U.S citizens were then dragged and loaded into the back of the same truck.
Two of the victims were found alive by Mexican authorities on Tuesday, and have since returned to the U.S. The other two U.S citizens were killed, and their bodies were sent back across the border on Thursday.
Photos of the men and message left allegedly by the Gulf Cartel show five men lying on the floor face down, in front of a black pick-up truck with Texas registration plates. The banner was left on the front windshield and authorities also found several weapons inside the vehicle, according to news reports.
The men are said to be severely beaten, but alive, according to a Mexican official in Matamoros speaking anonymously to VICE World News.
“The same people [from the Gulf Cartel] took the photos of the five men and the banner, and sent them to the police. They also called the emergency number to alert authorities of the message they left downtown”, the source said.
The Gulf Cartel is one of the most powerful criminal organizations operating in the Northeast region of Mexico.
Mexican news outletsReforma andMilenio have both fingered a man named Jose Alberto Garcia Vilano, alias La Kena or Ciclon 19, as being the head of the group responsible for the attack against the four Americans, but the information has not yet been confirmed by authorities.
Matamoros is home to at least two warring factions of the Gulf Cartel, one of the country’s oldest criminal organizations that has splintered repeatedly over the past 15 years.
Since the kidnapping last week, and the bilateral shockwaves it generated, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent a further 200 soldiers and 100 members of the National Guard to reinforce security in the border city, in which violence and conflict between rival criminal groups is common. Many Mexicans are questioning the fast response of the government to the kidnapping of Americans in a country where abductions, murders and disappearances of Mexicans is an everyday occurence.