Shocking video footage has emerged that captures the chilling moment four Americans were packed into a pickup truck after they were shot at and kidnapped in Mexico. The victims, whose names have not been made public, were attacked by a group of armed men just as they entered the border city of Matamoros.
The horrifying incident took place on Friday in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and the FBI says it needs the public's help to find those involved. According to the FBI, the group arrived in Matamoros via Brownsville, Texas. They four Americans were reportedly traveling in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates.
Kidnapped in Broad Daylight
It is not currently known why the four Americans entered Mexico. In the chilling video, a woman can be seen being led by one of the shooters to a pickup truck and made to sit on the flatbed.
Meanwhile, his accomplice can be seen dragging a man across the pavement before two further male victims are thrown inside the pickup.
According to an investigation being conducted by the San Antonio FBI office, the car was attacked soon after entering Mexican territory.
"All four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men."
The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for the four people's safe return and the capture of those responsible. Matamoros is located along the U.S.-Mexico border, just across Brownsville, Texas. The U.S. State Department has issued a "Level 4: Do Not Visit" warning because of the high crime rate in the area.
Risky Zone to Travel
The Gulf Cartel, a potent smuggling organization that has split into rival gangs, is based in the Mexican city, according to CNN.
"Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments," according to State Department guidance.
Alto al Secuestro, a group that helps abduction victims, estimates that at least 1,271 people were kidnapped in Mexico in 2022.
The U.S. Embassy in Matamoros issued a warning on Friday due to the danger posed by shootouts between rival gangs.
The number of fatalities and injuries reported by the Tamaulipas state police on Friday was not specified.
On March 3, the same day as the kidnapping, the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros wrote in a statement that it had "received reports of police activity occurring in the vicinity of Calle Primera and Lauro Villar in connection to a shooting."
It added that one person had died, according to news sources. There is still no evidence linking the incident to the kidnapping.