Two US citizens missing since their violent kidnapping in the northern Mexican border city of Matamoros have been found dead.
Two others are alive, the state’s governor Americo Villarreal said, adding that one of the survivors was hurt but the other was unharmed.
On Sunday (5 March), the FBI said it was searching with Mexican authorities for the missing Americans, who were abducted on Friday.
They had travelled together from South Carolina so one of them could get a tummy tuck from a Matamoros doctor, a relative said on Monday.
Shortly after entering Mexico, the Americans were caught in the crossfire of rival drug cartels, with a video showing them being loaded into the back of a pickup truck by gunmen. A Mexican woman was killed in the crossfire, officials said.
Mr Villarreal confirmed the deaths by phone during a press conference by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, saying details about the Americans had been confirmed by prosecutors.
Mr Lopez Obrador said one suspect was in custody, and also complained about the US media’s coverage of the missing Americans, accusing them of sensationalism.
“It’s not like that when they kill Mexicans in the United States, they go quiet like mummies,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate. They (the US government) has the right to protest like they have,” he said.
“We really regret that this happens in our country,” he added.
The abduction illustrates the terror that has prevailed for years in Matamoros, a city dominated by factions of the powerful Gulf drug cartel who often fight among themselves. Amid the violence, thousands of Mexicans have disappeared in Tamaulipas state alone.
The FBI had offered a 50,000 US dollar (£42,163) reward for the victims’ return and the arrest of the kidnappers.