One of the four Americans who survived a kidnapping by drug cartels in Mexico said she was traveling to the country to receive a second tummy tuck surgery after having six children.

Latavia McGee, 34, told The New York Times she had received a cosmetic treatment in Mexico two years before the kidnapping, and that she was returning with her friends for a second procedure as a form of ‘self-care.’

‘It wasn’t that I was self-conscious, because I always thought I was beautiful,’ McGee said. ‘I wanted to do it, so I saved my money, and I went.’ 

McGee and her friends Eric Williams, Zindell Brown and Shaeed Woodard – dubbed ‘the tummy tuck four’ – had gotten lost trying to find the cosmetic clinic in the border town of Matamoros in March, when they were caught in the crossfire of a cartel gunfight and taken after being mistaken for drug traffickers.

Only Williams and McGee survived after four days in captivity, and were released after the cartels realized their mistake. The pair have since begun detailing their ordeal, and revealed to CNN the cartels tried to force them to have sex with each other while in captivity.

The group had traveled to Matamoros for McGee to have a tummy tuck. She said she lied to the gangsters by telling them she was pregnant to get out of being forced into sex with her friends

Eric Williams was injured in the leg and says the cartel ‘stitched him up’ on a table 

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McGee told The Times she and her friends she was traveling with were as close as brothers. Williams told CNN they told the cartels they were related when the tried to force them to have sex with one another. 

‘They tried to make us have sex with each other but we told them we were brother and sister and that she was pregnant,’ Williams said.

They also described being moved between multiple cartel safehouses and having to hide under their friends’ dead bodies while in transit.

After several days, a video of the moment the group were kidnapped started to spread.

McGee says the kidnappers showed them the footage – and that is when they realized they’d taken four innocent Americans.

The gangster who set them free, she said, told them he was American. 

The pair were rescued from a safe house after four days in captivity. Only they survived

McGee said ‘none of them deserved’ the treatment they received. She is shown after being rescued 

‘He said there’s nothing we can do to bring your two brothers back but we’re sorry, somebody made the wrong call, he was high and drunk, and I am from America too.

‘He said, “I am fighting with my boss for him to give you up” and that once he let us go, he’d have to leave too because they would kill him.’ 

They drove ‘all night’ in a car beneath their friends’ bodies, she said, waiting to be rescued. 

‘They kept asking us questions and our answers never changed, they said, “We’re going to get you some help,”‘ McGee said. 

The group had traveled to Matamoros for her to have a tummy tuck. They had driven from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for days to get there. 

Speaking of her murdered friends, McGee said: ‘They didn’t deserve that. None of us deserved it. But we’re alive – we have a lot of recovering to do’. 

The State Department has repeatedly urged caution when traveling to Mexico. 

Many states remain under ‘do not travel’ advisories.

Members (pictured) of the Gulf Cartel’s Scorpions Group were abandoned on a Matamoros street and accused by the criminal organization of being behind the kidnapping

Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown, two of the Americans kidnapped in Mexico, were found dead Tuesday

Shortly after the Americans were found, five cartel members turned themselves over to authorities, along with a note from the gang apologizing for the kidnapping and explaining the men had operated on their own. 

‘The Gulf Cartel’s Scorpions Group strongly condemns the events of last Friday, March 3 where unfortunately an ‘innocent’ working mother died and 4 American citizens were ‘kidnapped’ of which 2 died,’ the Spanish-written message read.

‘And for this reason, we have decided to hand over those involved and directly responsible for the facts who at all times acted under their own determination and indiscipline and against the rules that ‘The CDG’ has always operated, respecting the life and integrity of the innocent,’ the cartel said.

After the Americans were rescued, many wondered whether their story about being in Mexico for cosmetic surgery was true, especially after revealed their lengthy rap sheets.  

Williams was previously busted for ‘distributing crack near a school,’ while McGee has been slapped with ‘unlawful conduct towards a child,’ when her daughter tested positive for amphetamines.

Woodard was charged with the ‘manufacturing and possession’ of drugs and pleaded guilty, while Brown was also charged for ‘possession of marijuana or hashish.’

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