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Abductions and deaths of Americans in Mexico create shockwaves in both countries

Robert J., an expert on organized crime from Mexico. “Basically it looks like a local unit made a mistake, they thought it might be another unit in town or an out-of-town group,” said Bunker, director of research and analysis at C/O Futures, a security consulting firm in California. “This poor American Tourists are somehow caught in the middle of it.”

At the clinic where McGee was scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday, Veronica, a nurse who asked to give only her first name out of fear for her safety, said half the patients she sees are American. The clinic reaches customers in the U.S. through personalized ads on Instagram that feature before-and-after photos and videos of its patients, he said.

Veronica said she remembered McGee two years ago when she went with Roberto Chavez to the doctor for another surgery.

Because many clients were wary of Matamoros’ reputation as a violent and lawless place, the clinic was intentionally located a four-minute walk from the intersection to Brownsville, Texas. Still, McGee didn’t show up for his 7 a.m. appointment.

Maria Abi-Habib Report from Matamoros, Mexico; Natalie Kittroff And Oscar Lopez From Mexico City, Jolan Kanno YoungsFrom Washington. JC Ford’s Reporting from New York and Dylan Orduno from Lake City, South Carolina contributed.

Natalie Kittroff is The Times’ bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. @Natalikidro

Maria Abi-Habib is an investigative reporter based in Mexico City covering Latin America. He has previously reported from Afghanistan, the entire Middle East and India to South Asia. @Abihabib

Jolan Kanno-Youngs was a White House correspondent in the Biden administration covering a variety of domestic and international issues, including national security and terrorism. He joined The Times in 2019 as national security correspondent. @Kanno Youngs

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