(RightWing.org) – Some Americans are turning to medical tourism as a means of reducing healthcare costs in the wake of the United States’ crumbling economy. Despite an active State Department warning that discourages travel to Mexico, four Americans were recently kidnapped while seeking medical services in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, a border city across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas.
On Tuesday, March 7, US Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a press release updating the public on the situation involving the reported kidnapping the previous Friday. The statement explained that FBI officials had confirmed two of the Americans were killed and one received injuries during their ordeal. The two surviving Americans returned to the United States and are receiving medical treatment.
Garland offered his “deepest condolences” to the victims’ family members and loved ones. He also vowed the Justice Department would relentlessly pursue justice on their behalf.
"Two of four Americans were killed in Mexico when their van was caught in the crossfire of rival cartel groups last week, a top Mexican official said Tuesday." https://t.co/dJHePuVnX3
— 𝑹𝒚𝒂𝒏 𝑺𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒊 (@RyanSarai1) March 7, 2023
News reports indicated South Carolina resident Latavia Washington McGee traveled to Mexico for a cosmetic medical procedure accompanied by Zindell Brown, Eric Williams, and Shaeed Woodward. They reportedly accompanied her to share driving duties.
Shortly after entering Mexico, they reportedly got caught in the crossfire between two rival gangs, according to some media reports. Other news agencies reported that authorities believe the shooters thought they were members of another criminal group.
So far, authorities haven’t released any information regarding the circumstances surrounding the recovery/rescue of the Americans. Likewise, nothing is known about the extent of the American’s injuries. News reports name Woodard and Brown as the deceased victims.
Reporters asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the incident during her regular Tuesday briefing. She declined to provide additional details but confirmed the administration’s ongoing efforts to protect Americans traveling abroad.
Jean-Pierre referred reporters to the State Department’s travel advisory for the area. Tamaulipas is one of six Mexican states listed at Level 4 due to the ongoing threat of crime and kidnapping.
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