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Just one week after four U.S. citizens from South Carolina were kidnapped in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, with two dying as a result, it was revealed Friday, March 10, by U.S. authorities, that three Texas women — two sisters and their friend who had crossed over the border to sell used clothing at a flea market — had gone missing a week earlier.

According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the three women were from Peñitas, a small border city in Texas near McAllen.

The FBI said that it is currently working with Mexican authorities to locate the missing women — Maritza Trinidad Perez Rios, 47; Marina Perez Rios, 48; and Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz, 53 — who allegedly entered the Mexican border state of Nuevo León on Friday, Feb. 24, in a green mid-1990s Chevy Silverado in Nuevo Leon state.

In recent years, the incidence of violent crimes against foreigners in Mexico has skyrocketed, with many observers blaming leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) lackadaisical approach to dealing with criminals, offering them “hugs, not bullets.”

According to Mexican government statistics, between 2019 and 2021 there were 1,347 homicides of foreigners in Mexico compared to 579 murders between 2013 and 2015.

And currently, there are at least 550 U.S. citizens reportedly missing in Mexico.

On Saturday, March 11, Texas issued a maximum security alert warning residents to avoid all travel to Mexico due to growing violence.

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