MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas – A series of kidnappings in the Mexican border city of Matamoros prompted the U.S. Department of State to issue a security warning to American travelers.
The short message states that the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros learned of several “express kidnappings” in the Jardin neighborhood which is the same area where their offices are located.
The city of Matamoros is just south of the Rio Grande from the Texas border and regularly sees thousands of travelers. The city has also been the scene of multiple firefights between Gulf cartel members and their rivals as well as with the Mexican military.
The security message describes express kidnappings as those that occur for a short time while criminal take the victim to withdraw money from an ATM or some other means of getting a small amount of cash quickly. The security message doesn’t specify if the victims were Americans or not, however in recent years kidnappings have become big money makers for drug cartels in Mexico. The victims were targeted either exiting vehicles or ATM machines.
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, in recent years the numbers of U.S. citizens and permanent residents that have been kidnapped in Mexico has skyrocketed with half of them being a way for criminals to make money. In 2014, the FBI investigated the kidnappings of 199 Americans in Mexico.