Latavia McGee, Shaeed Woodard, Zindell Brown, and Eric James Williams have been identified as the four Americans who were kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico. Officials told CNN that they believe a Mexican cartel mistook the victims for Haitian drug smugglers. The area is dominated by the Gulf Cartel.

An alleged video of the four being loaded into a truck is circulating on social media. Two of them have died, Americo Villarreal, the governor of Tamaulipas, confirmed Tuesday. The other two have been returned to the US.

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There is no confirmation of the Gulf Cartel’s involvement in the incident. However, social media users are convinced that it is Osiel Cárdenas Guillén’s group that kidnapped the four.

What is the Gulf Cartel?

The Gulf Cartel is a criminal syndicate and drug trafficking organization that is based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Although it is one of Mexico’s oldest and most influential criminal organizations, it has recently lost some ground to challengers in terms of power and territory. The cartel’s head, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, was regarded as the nation’s most potent underworld figure during its peak.

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The Tamaulipas border state is where the cartel’s traditional headquarters are located, with its three most significant operational locations being in Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, and Reynosa. These sectors are crucial both financially and operationally. The cartel earns a great deal of money just by charging people to pass through the area.

For a while, the Gulf Cartel had to defeat a monster that it had created itself, the Zetas. Nevertheless, it seems that the group has survived the crisis.

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The Gulf Cartel, for its part, continues to be in charge of a crucial criminal stronghold in Tamaulipas, which enables the organization to keep smuggling substantial amounts of drugs across the US-Mexico border. As other organizations struggle to grow their operations, it appears that the cartel’s concentration on seizing power amid their traditional bases has proven well.