A secretive faction of Mexico's notorious Gulf Cartel has apologized and turned in the five assassins who kidnapped four Americans and killed two of them last week. The five assassins were tied up and dumped in the streets by the cartel's Scorpions group on Thursday, according to law enforcement officials.
According to reports, a strange handwritten note that was left along with the assassins condemned the attack that resulted in the kidnapping of five Americans from their car in Matamoros, a border city in northern Mexico. The accused were caught on camera smirking as they were taken into custody on Wednesday night in Matamoros.
Punished by Their Own Group
According to a letter leaked to the Associated Press by a Tamaulipas state law enforcement source, the cartel's Scorpions group said it "decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events" related to the March 3 kidnapping of four Americans in the border city of Matamoros.
The note written by their bosses in Spanish was left with the henchmen wherein they apologized for the killings and said they were happy to hand over the perpetrators.
According to the letter, the five members allegedly "acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline" they attacked and assaulted victims Latavia "Tay" McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown, and Eric James Williams.
The bosses claimed in the note that the assassins - who were part of the renowned Scorpions splinter gang - operated outside of 'cartel rules' and 'condemn' the attack, adding 'the CDG has always respected the life and integrity of the innocent'.
Concerns are being raised about why they were in the cartel-run city in the first place after it was revealed that the four Americans were previously linked to drugs.
The Tamaulipas source also provided a photograph of the five accused men laying handcuffed and face-down on the street, which was shown to the media outlet.
The men were found tied up in a car that is at the core of the kidnapping inquiry, according to a separate source who is a state security official who spoke to the Associated Press.
The four Americans were kidnapped by gunmen last Friday after they crossed the US-Mexico border for a medical procedure. After a four-day search, McGee and Williams were found alive but injured in a run-down shack on Tuesday. However, shooting had already claimed the lives of Woodard and Brown.
The Mexican authorities said in a statement on Thursday that the kidnapping "could be directly linked to drug trafficking," adding that it was being looked into. According to the relatives of the survivors, one of the friends needed to undergo a cheap stomach tuck in order for them to be there.
The Gulf Cartel (Cartel del Golfo, CDG), in an attempt to apologize for the horrific killings, left behind a note on a white poster.
The note written in Spanish reads, "The Gulf Cartel's Scorpions Group strongly condemns the events of last Friday, March 3 where unfortunately an 'innocent' working mother died and 4 American citizens were 'kidnapped' of which 2 died,' the Spanish-written message read.
"And for this reason, we have decided to hand over those involved and directly responsible for the facts who at all times acted under their own determination and indiscipline and against the rules that 'The CDG' has always operated, respecting the life and integrity of the innocent,' the cartel said.
"The CDG apologizes to Matamoran society, the relatives of Mrs. Arely, the American individuals and families affected.
"The CDG asks society to be calm because we are committed to not repeating those errors caused by indiscipline and whoever is responsible will pay!!"
According to the prosecutor's office, law enforcement officers tasked with the kidnapping found and seized an ambulance the cartel had used to transport the American victims to a nearby clinic for treatment after the assault.
South Carolina residents Latavia McGee, her cousin Shaeed Woodward, and friends Zindell Brown and Eric James entered Matamoros around 9 am last Friday. About two hours later, they were attacked.
Chilling video captured McGee being thrown into a pickup truck's flatbed by Gulf Cartel goons as they dumped the bodies of Woodward, Brown, and James inside.
The three men are said to have traveled with McGee across the border for his surgery from South Carolina.
The news of the potential arrests coincides with claims that Mexican law enforcement is looking into a drug-trafficking connection as a possible explanation for the kidnapping, which some experts first thought might have been a tragic case of mistaken identity.