Madam Speaker, I bring you news from the third front. We have the front that America is engaged in war in Iraq, we have the front in Afghanistan, and I bring you news from the silent third front in that nobody talks about it, and that is the southern border of the United States with Mexico.

The inconvenient truth is there is a border war brewing on our southern border, and America needs to be aware of what is taking place and not ignore the obvious. The Texas border sheriffs and the sheriffs' coalition from Brownsville all the way to San Diego talk about the problems that are increasing on the border, and it is violence. It is the organized crime cartels, the drug cartels that are bringing violence to the border area on both sides of the border, on the Mexican side and on the American side, and it is only going to get worse.

I want to talk about a specific incident that is taking place between two drug cartels, the Zetas and the Gulf drug cartel. They are operating in Mexico in several places, but one of those places is Guerrero, Mexico, right on the border between the United States and Texas--or, rather, between Mexico and Texas. It is near a place called Falcon Lake.

Falcon Lake is a man-made dam, and the lake is as a result of that dam. On the southern side of Falcon Lake is Guerrero, Mexico. Six thousand people live there. On the northern side in the United States is Falcon Heights, and Zapata County and Starr County are located there.

Yesterday in Guerrero, Mexico, eight buildings were burned to the ground by the drug cartels, the reason being the owner of those eight buildings was a Zeta, and he switched sides to the Gulf drug cartel and, in retaliation, the Zetas burned down eight of his buildings that he owns or controls. The problem in Guerrero, Mexico is so bad that law enforcement in that Mexican town have told people, Do not leave your homes today, because they expect violence to erupt today, tomorrow, or this weekend between the two cartels fighting over, as we say in the United States, turf, but what they say in Mexico is ``la plaza,'' fighting over control of that area.

Good folks on both sides of the border live in fear because of the violence, because of the crime, because of the drug cartels. And while we talk about health care, we need to talk about the health of Americans who live on the U.S. side of the Mexican-American border and the health of people who live on the southern side as well.

The Texas sheriffs are very worried about what is taking place because the drug cartels have more money. They outgun Americans, they out finance us, and of course they have better equipment than the U.S. sheriffs do.

The Secretary of State today is down in Mexico City talking about how we can spend more money under the Merida Initiative, the billion dollars we gave Mexico to secure the border on that side. We ought to be talking about, as the sheriffs in Texas say, spending money on our side of the border to protect and reinforce the border on our side because, sooner or later, violence will erupt into the United States.

In Guerrero, Mexico, they are expecting a violent fight between these two drug cartels any moment, any day, fighting over this turf. You see, the Zetas are running out of money and they need more money, and so the way that the Zetas are going to finance their operation is to kidnap people; the plan apparently being, from what I understand, to kidnap teenagers who have wealthy parents and hold them for ransom until that money is paid. Hopefully, that does not occur, but we will see.

This is just one area along the vast border between Mexico and the United States where violence continues to erupt and where we need to be in control of our own borders. The Texas Governor has asked for troops on the border, and he has been denied that. It is the first duty of government to protect the dignity of the United States and secure the border and not just talk about the fact that the border needs to be secure.

People have a right, who live on the border, to live free from criminal cartels coming in and committing violence against Americans, and our government better uphold the first duty of government, to protect American citizens. This is today's news from the third front on the Texas-Mexico border.

And that's just the way it is.