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Two sisters and a friend from Texas have gone missing in Mexico after crossing the border last month, according to the FBI.
Officials have named the women as Maritza Trinidad Perez Rios, 47, Marina Perez Rios, 48, and their friend, Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz, 53.
Meanwhile, a Mexican drug cartel has blamed five rogue members of its gang for the deadly kidnapping of four Americans in Matamoros.
The Gulf cartel’s Scorpions faction made the claims in a letter obtained by the Associated Press. Photos purportedly showed the suspects with their hands tied, face down on a sidewalk after being turned in by the cartel along with the letter.
The criminal group apologised for the kidnapping and said five of its members “acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline”.
“The Gulf cartel asks the community to be calm as we’re committed to ensuring that these types of mistakes are not made ever again and plan to make those who are guilty pay,” the letter states.
The development followed reports that Mexican investigators conducted deep background checks on the four victims – LaTavia “Tay” McGee, Eric James Williams, Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown – as they probe the possibility of cartel links.
A report obtained by Reuters flagged the criminal records of Williams and Woodard, finding past drug convictions.
When authorities finally located the missing tourists four days after their abduction one week ago, McGee and Williams were rescued while Woodward and Brown were found dead.