Four US citizens who entered Mexico from Texas to buy medication were kidnapped by gunmen during a shootout in which at least one Mexican national was slain.
The four individuals were traveling in a white minivan bearing North Carolina license plates. They came under fire on Friday shortly after entering Matamoros from Brownsville, the southernmost corner of Texas along the Gulf Coast, according to a statement released by the FBI San Antonio division office on Sunday.
The office reported that all four Americans were placed in a car and removed from the location by armed men. The FBI is offering a reward of $50,000 for the return of the victims and the capture of the perpetrators.
A social media video depicts armed men, some of whom are wearing tan body armor, loading four victims into the bed of a pickup vehicle in broad daylight. The remaining individuals appeared to be either dead or wounded.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, stated on Monday that the four were on their way to get medicine when they were caught in the gunfire between two armed groups. He did not provide further specifics.
Ken Salazar, the US ambassador to Mexico, said in a statement released on Monday that the Americans were kidnapped at gunpoint and a “innocent” Mexican national was killed in the incident.
US law agencies are collaborating with their Mexican colleagues to locate the missing Americans. Officials have supplied no additional information regarding the victims’ identities or origins.