Americans Murdered in Mexico in the Last 38 Years


In addition to the four Americans kidnapped in Matamoros, there are multiple cases of murders of foreigners by organized crime since 1985.

Mexican authorities confirmed the discovery of the four people from the United States kidnapped on Friday, March 3 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Two of them died, while the other two were found alive; however, one remains injured.

During the morning presidential conference on Tuesday, March 7, the governor of Tamaulipas, Américo Villarreal, said in a phone call that the discovery of the Americans was confirmed by the State Prosecutor’s Office and added that ambulances and security personnel were moving to the place to provide support.

The Tamaulipas prosecutor, Irving Barrios Mojica, published on Twitter that “state and federal corporations, with personnel from the US Consulate (United States of America) in Matamoros delivered 2 citizens of that country on an international bridge, located today after they were deprived of their liberty”.

This is not the first time that people from the United States have been victims of violence in Mexico. In recent decades, various scandals have occurred that linked organized crime and murders or attacks against foreigners.

Violence against Americans in Mexico: These are the most notorious cases

This is a count of cases of violence against Americans in Mexico promoted by organized crime:

Enrique “Kiki” Camarena (1985)

Enrique Camarena, known as ‘Kiki’, was an agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1985 by members of the Guadalajara Cartel, presumably under the orders of Rafael Caro Quintero.

Enrique Camarena was kidnapped on February 7, 1985 in Guadalajara, two days later he was assassinated by former judicial police officers who followed the orders of a group of drug traffickers headed by Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo ‘Don Neto’ and Rafael Caro Quintero, members of the extinct Guadalajara Cartel.

Camarena was an undercover agent for the DEA in Mexico, and was monitoring the movements of the criminal organization. The death of the US agent is believed to have occurred on February 9. His body was discovered on March 5, 1985. He was 37 years old at the time of his death.

John Clay Walker and Albert G. Radelat (1985)

It happened in the La Langosta Loca restaurant in Jalisco, since the two Americans were looking for a place to have dinner, and according to the journalist Anabel Hernández, a party for Caro Quintero was taking place in that place, in which Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was also there.

According to the journalist, they were leaving when “El Chapo” shouted: “Those speak English, they are from the DEA.” Caro Quintero said the key word for him, that he sentenced those two men to death: “la cucaracha” and immediately the bosses ran after them to torture them.

“The greatest fury came from Caro Quintero and Guzmán Loera, who ended up attacking the visitors with an ice pick. Walker, badly wounded, made a last effort to escape, but El Chapo decapitated him,” it is related in one of his books.

Attack on agents Jaime Zapata and Víctor Ávila (2011)

In February 2011, two United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were attacked by elements of the Los Zetas cartel.

Jaime Zapata was killed, while Víctor Ávila was seriously wounded. “This case serves as a reminder that if you harm a federal agent, the United States Government will search for you to the ends of the earth to ensure that you are brought to justice,” said the United States government 6 years later, when life imprisonment was declared against their attackers.

LeBaron Family (2019)

In November 2019, the murder of nine members of the LeBaron family, all women and children, allegedly by organized crime, was reported in Bavispe, Sonora.

The massacre even strained relations between Mexico and the United States, as the request to consider the Mexican cartels as “terrorists” arose by the then US president, Donald Trump.

The LeBaron family, which has been in Mexico since 1924, has been the victim of multiple kidnappings; however, they are characterized by their way of denouncing violence and mobilizations to demand justice before paying ransoms.

The murder of the LeBarons moved thousands of Mexicans who went out to march to demand justice, and to date there are dozens of detainees.

Kidnapping of Americans in Matamoros (2023)

Similar to the case of the LeBaron family, the kidnapping of four Americans is an attack on civilians, who were kidnapped on Friday, March 3 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, as reported by the FBI.

Days later, the government of Mexico and the United States, as well as elements of the Army, carried out an exhaustive search to find the victims, two of them died.

One of the first versions is that the Americans crossed into Mexico for cosmetic surgery.

The victims have already been handed over to the United States authorities, and for the moment one person has been detained after the operation.

In Matamoros, Tamaulipas, clashes between the Gulf Cartel and the Northeast Cartel are common since both fight for the area.

Source: El Financiero