The U.S. State Department reminded travelers to avoid going to parts of Mexico as four Americans were kidnapped in Matamoros last week – two of whom were killed while the other two returned to the U.S. on Tuesday.
The reminder came just days before college students head off to tropical destinations like parts of Mexico for Spring Break.
The State Department issued a Level 4 travel advisory for six Mexican states in October 2022, and last Friday the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico issued the reminder after reports of a shooting in Tamaulipas.
“The U.S. Consulate General reminds U.S. citizens that Tamaulipas is classified as Level 4: Do Not Travel in the State Department’s travel advisory for Mexico,” the Consulate said.
Tamaulipas is located just south of Texas, and Matamoros, where the four individuals were kidnapped last week, in the state of Tamaulipas.
But also included on the State Department’s list of states in Mexico that are considered a Level 4 threat because of crime and kidnapping are Guerrero, Zacatecas, Sinaloa, Colima and Michoacan.
Travelers heading to Campeche or Yucatan are advised to exercise “normal” precautions.
Members of a Mexican cartel kidnapped four Americans who traveled across the border from Brownsville, Texas, to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, last week allegedly seeking a tummy tuck surgery. Two of the Americans and an innocent Mexican bystander died during the incident, according to U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar.
The four Americans have been identified as McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Eric Williams and Zindell Brown, all of South Carolina. The FBI has said it cannot identify the survivors, but McGee and Williams have been identified by their families as the survivors.
Tamaulipas Gov. Americo Villarreal said authorities located the four Americans in a shack guarded by a man, who was arrested.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a news conference on Tuesday that the U.S. had repatriated the two survivors “with the assistance of our Mexican partners, with the assistance of our officials in Mexico.”
The two deceased Americans will be turned over and repatriated into the U.S. following forensic work at the Matamoros morgue.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that “these sorts of attacks are unacceptable” and the Biden administration would “stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”