By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
As the March 7 kidnapping of four U.S. citizens, with the killing of two of them, in Matamoros, Nuevo León, continued to fire up diplomatic tensions between Mexico and the United States, the drug cartel that allegedly was responsible for the incident came to the rescue of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on Thursday, March 9, turning over the supposed culprits, replete with a handwritten letter apologizing for the the attack.
In the letter, which was found by Nuevo León authorities along with five alleged members of the Scorpion faction of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel (CDG) tied up and left in the streets of Matamoros next to a white SUV, the group formally apologized to the families of both the Americans and a Mexican woman who died in the shooting attack.
“We have decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events, who, at all times, acted in accordance with their own wills and with a lack of discipline,” the letter stated, adding that the “guilty individuals” had violated the cartel’s rules to “respect the lives of the innocent.”
As it turns out, the U.S. victims of the attack might not have been all that “innocent” since at least three of them had violence- and drug-related criminal records in their home state of South Carolina and had previously traveled to Matamoros, presumably looking for more than tummy tucks.
And while none of the victims’ families initially seemed to know exactly why the four had traveled to Mexico, offering vague references about them seeking medical assistance, it was AMLO himself who — just hours after the attack was reported — announced in his March 8 morning press conference that one of them had been seeking cosmetic surgery at a Matamoros clinic, demonstrating his ample knowledge of the inner workings of the city’s activities.
Just coincidentally, after realizing that the assailants had allegedly “mistaken” the Americans for rival drug traffickers, the hitmen of the Gulf Cartel used a private clinic and an ambulance to treat the wounded, a clinic that was apparently operated by the CDG itself.
Neither the staff clinic, where one of the victims was treated, nor the ambulance driver, bothered to informed the authorities of the incident until Tuesday, March 7, after the surviving victims were located in a safe house.
But AMLO seemed to know all the details on Monday. Hmm…
Whatever the truth may be about the attack on the Americans, it was certainly convenient that the Gulf Cartel came up with a damage control plan to help the president appease the fury of an angry northern neighbor.