A Mexican cartel suspected of killing two Americans during an armed kidnapping attempt has purportedly turned over the members it says are responsible and written an apology letter.
The Gulf Cartel reportedly turned over five of its members to Mexican authorities and issued an apology letter for the attack on a group of four Americans last week and the death of one Mexican woman, according to CNN. The attack strained relations between the U.S. and Mexico as U.S. lawmakers called for harsher treatment of Mexico’s notorious drug cartels.
“The [Gulf Cartel] apologizes to the society of Matamoros, the relatives of Ms. Areli, and the affected American people and families,” a handwritten letter purportedly from the cartel said.
“The Gulf Cartel, Scorpion Group, strongly condemns the events of last Friday,” the letter says. The Scorpion Group is the division of the cartel allegedly responsible for the attack.
“For this reason, we decided to hand over those directly involved and responsible for the acts, who at all times acted under their own determination and indiscipline and against the rules in which the [Gulf Cartel] always operates,” the letter says.
The authenticity of the letter has not been verified. A Tamaulipas state law enforcement official turned over a copy of the letter to the Associated Press. A picture of the letter has also circulated online along with a picture of five alleged cartel members lying on the ground with a group of Mexican police standing over them.
A week ago, a group of Americans crossed into Matamoros from Texas; one of them planned to have cosmetic surgery at a Mexican medical office. A group of suspected cartel members in a pickup truck fired upon the group in downtown Matamoros, killing two of the Americans, wounding a third, and killing a nearby Mexican woman. The fourth American was not physically harmed.
Mexican authorities turned over the bodies of the dead Americans to U.S. authorities on Thursday. The surviving Americans returned to the U.S. earlier this week.
U.S. authorities began looking into the disappearance of the four Americans last week after a friend of the group contacted authorities after not being able to contact the group. The four Americans were later found in Ejido Longoreño, a rural area outside of Matamoros. They were being guarded by a man who was one of the five alleged cartel members later turned over to the police.