HOUSTON, Texas — An American citizen was beaten to death by drug cartel members while another barely managed to survive the kidnapping and torture just south of the Texas border.
The two men have been identified as 38-year-old Erick Candanoza, and 25-year-old Carlos Vela Moreno, who are from the border city of Brownsville and were in the business of selling used cars, according to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio.
On Wednesday night, the Sheriff’s deputies arrived to the Los Indios International Bridge where the two men had arrived, Candanoza had already died and Vela was rushed to a local hospital where investigators were able to interview him.
The two men had crossed into Mexico a vehicle they were going to sell through the Progreso International Bridge and were driving towards the border city of Matamoros when their car overheated, Lucio said.
“They pulled over to the side of the road and that is when two vehicles with six or seven men carrying various firearms kidnapped them,” the sheriff said. “They took them to a wooded area away from any residences and began to beat them.”
Vela told the investigators that Candanoza took the worst of the beating since the gunmen appeared to have been targeting him over a feud with a relative, Lucio told Breitbart Texas. After the beating, the gunmen took the men to a local hospital from where they were able to get transport to an international bridge.
Sheriff’s investigators are working with the U.S. Consulate Office in Matamoros to gather more information into the case.
“Sadly enough the security threats continue in Mexico that is why I tell the public if you don’t have to go over there don’t go,” Lucio said. “And if you do have to go, go in the daytime and be very careful. I sure hope things calm down eventually.”
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