U.S.-Mexico border | Photo by Alan Levine on Flickr.com

Four South Carolina natives crossed the border into Mexico last Friday, but within hours, they were abducted by gunmen. Two of the Americans were killed before the others were rescued Tuesday.

The group of friends drove to Mexico for one to get a tummy tuck, just one example of the growing medical tourism industry. After crossing into the border town of Matamoros, gunmen surrounded the group and loaded them into a truck, reportedly killing one Mexican bystander in the process. One of the survivors suffered three gunshot wounds in his leg. Authorities found the two survivors in a house outside the city, where they were being held. 

Investigators theorize that “there was a confusion” rather than a targeted attack on American tourists. Mexican officials familiar with the investigation said it’s likely they were mistaken for smugglers of Haitian migrants. Illegal migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border have soared in recent months, spurring tension among criminal groups in northern Mexico, according to reports. 

The tragedy comes at a critical moment for security relations between Mexico and the U.S. Republican members of Congress have proposed a bill that would allow the U.S. military to combat organized crime as several states push to label drug cartels as terrorist groups. 

CP OPINION: Slow down and get Union Pier right

“We’re not sure how cramming as many multi-story buildings as possible into 70 acres complements anything but greed. This plan is too much and just not right for Charleston.”

In other headlines:

Explore and learn in Charleston’s off-the-path museums. See jaw-dropping manuscripts. View a 3 billion-year-old fossil. Soak up the gloom of an old slave market. All three awesome experiences can be found by exploring a museum in Charleston that you may never have visited.

North Charleston’s south end still lacks major grocer. Residents in the south end of North Charleston and surrounding areas have been without a major retail grocery store for almost two decades.

Reading curriculum sparks controversy among Charleston teachers. Education and political advocates throughout February gathered at Charleston County School District board meetings to vocalize support for a new reading curriculum that right-leaning education leaders have accused of teaching critical race theory and “woke culture.”

Charleston’s Washington headlines quilting workshop in D.C. Charleston fiber artist Torreah “Cookie” Washington will reveal tips on how to create an heirloom quilt during two sold-out sessions March 15 in the Oprah Winfrey Auditorium at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Charleston’s Miller Gallery hosts largest exhibition to date. Statement Pieces: A Departure from Neutrality this month will offer an exciting pop-up exhibition of paintings presented by the Miller Gallery.

Monopoly game designers want locals’ help with Charleston-edition of the game. Charleston is getting its own Monopoly board, and the game designers want the Lowcountry’s input to determine what iconic landmarks will be featured as spaces.

Historic preservation discussion set for Wednesday in West Ashley. The West Ashley Revitalization Commission on Wednesday night is set to discuss what historic preservation should look like off of the Charleston peninsula.

Grant helps Charleston County Library food program through off-season. A grant from an area healthcare provider will help keep Charleston County Public Library’s community pantries stocked.

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