The Brownsville Police Department in Texas, across the border from Matamoros, Mexico –where four Americans were found after being kidnapped – said the tragic incident “should not define Mexico as a whole.”
Matamoros is just like US cities in that it has “its bad locations and it has its good locations,” Public Information Officer Martin Sandoval said.
Kidnappings do not happen frequently despite public belief, Sandoval said. The last major case the city had was in the late 1980s, he said.
The police department recommends that Americans remain in the US.
But if people do decide to cross into Mexico, Sandoval encouraged them to follow federal guidelines, which include having a full tank of gas, staying as close as possible to the port of entry, going with a group of people and having a GPS, he said.
“There are hundreds of people that go through the bridge daily,” Sandoval said, referring to the crossing to Matamoros. And some people are more apprehensive after this kidnapping, but it’s likely that some people will continue to cross, he added.