An American family has been returned to safety nearly three weeks after being kidnapped by a Mexican cartel. The three Dallas, TX residents were abducted along the Victoria-Zaragoza-Tampico Highway while traveling through Mexico for a family funeral.
The victims were two adult females and one adult male of the same family currently living in Dallas. Their names are being withheld by authorities for the family’s safety. The three American citizens were abducted after driving through Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the mexican state Tamaulipas, on their way to the port city of Tampico. The family is just one of the many victims of highway robbery and kidnapping in Tamaulipas.
Kidnappings have become so common that the U.S. Department of State has issued a standing travel warning for Mexico. All highways in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas have been deemed unsafe and U.S. officials are urging American citizens to avoid them if possible.
Mexican military sources have confirmed that Grupo Bravo, a group linked to the Gulf Cartel-Zetas, is responsible for the abduction. Juan Gabriel Idrogo Perez, Rucina Guadalupe Cruz Gomez and Edgar Ariel Gallegos Gallegos carried out the abduction on behalf of Grupo Bravo. Gomez and Perez have been arrested and taken into police custody. 47-year-old Gallegos was killed in a firefight with the Fuerza Tamaulipas police force.
The family spent 19 days in captivity at a cartel enclave near the highway they were abducted from. The cartel was planning on holding the family until they received a ransom they were demanding from the United States government. Their plan was cut short when local police stumbled upon the kidnappers while patrolling rural roads in the area.
Mexican and U.S. officials are urging American citizens to avoid Tamaulipas. A fierce territory war between two factions of the Mexican cartel has raised the number of kidnapping and gun battles in the area to an all-time high.
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