Criminal Justice Expert Calls Cartel Kidnapping Apology Unusual

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There was a somber procession late Thursday as the bodies of two slain Americans arrived home.

The coffins holding the victims of last week's violent kidnapping were transported into a Texas funeral home just hours after the release of stunning images from Mexico. In them, five men, bound and badly beaten, are seen on a street in Matamoros. Nearby, a letter was taped to a windshield with an apology U.S. officials said appeared to come from the Gulf cartel, claiming responsibility for the kidnapping of four Americans.

In it, they apologize to the people of Matamoros, a Mexican bystander and the families of the four American friends who were kidnapped crossing the border for a cosmetic medical procedure.

Though messages from cartels aren’t unprecedented, the apology is unusual according to former CIA officer and FBI agent Tracy Walder.

"I can't remember the last time that I saw something where you have an actual faction saying, we did this: 'We're sorry. We're the people responsible,'” said Walder.

Walder said the apology comes amid a surge in violence between subgroups of the cartel, the Cyclones and the Scorpions. It's the latter now claiming responsibility and handing over the men it said "acted under their own determination" and "against the rules" of the cartel.

It's a condemnation Walder said likely comes amid local pressure due to a show of force from hundreds of Mexican army and national guard troops now stationed across Matamoros.

"A lot of times, you're seeing the media, you're seeing politicians putting pressure on these cartels saying, ‘Hey, this, this is bad for our country. This is bad for your business, quite frankly. So you need to do something about it.’ And this is what they intended to do,” she said.

The cartel ended its letter asking "society to remain calm" adding "the guilty parties will pay regardless of who they are."

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