The faction of the Gulf Cartel known as the "Scorpion Group" was responsible for the incident. The bosses of the faction apologized to the residents of Matamoros where the Americans were kidnapped, to the Mexican woman who died during a shootout with the cartel and to the four Americans and their families.
"We have decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events, who at all times acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline," letter stated – adding that the individuals supposedly went against the cartel's rules, including "respecting the life and well-being of the innocent."
Drug cartels have been known to issue statements. Usually, these are done to intimidate or threaten local rivals or Mexican authorities. But at certain occasions, such as when the United States is involved, drug cartels issue statements as a public relations stunt to try to smooth over situations that could severely affect their business interests. (Related: 4 Americans missing, 1 Mexican bystander dies after shootout near Texas border.)
The incident occurred on Friday, March 3. All four Americans were shot during the kidnapping.
The four Americans drove into Matamoros, just across the border from Brownsville, Texas, for a medical procedure. Video of the incident showed gunmen dragging people into a white pickup truck and driving off.
Immediately following the incident and the killing of the two Americans, National Guard troops and a special forces outfit from the U.S. Army entered Mexico to begin running patrols. Mexican security analyst David Saucedo noted that the presence of American troops "heated up the plaza."
"It is very difficult right now for them to continue working in terms of street-level drug sales and transferring drugs to the United States; they are the first ones interested in closing this chapter as soon as possible," he added.
But the families of the victims do not believe this so-called apology from the cartel should change the situation.
Jerry Wallace, the cousin of victim Eric Williams, who was shot in the left leg, feels "great" knowing that his family member is alive but does not accept any apologies from the Gulf Cartel.
"It ain't gonna change nothing about the suffering that we went through," said Wallace, 62, who called for the American and Mexican governments to do better to address cartel violence.
LaTavia Washington McGee was the other survivor of the incident. The two Americans killed were Zindell Brown and Shaeed Woodard. Their bodies were brought across the border to Brownsville on Thursday, March 9.
Read more news about Mexican cartels at DrugCartels.news.
Watch this episode of the "Health Ranger Report" as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, discusses how Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wants the United States to declare war on Mexican drug cartels, but won't show the same support for defending America's borders.