The decapitation of the lead Mexican investigator in the alleged murder of a jet-skier on a border lake is a sharp retort to President Obama's administration, a Texas congressman said.
"The Mexican drug cartels just sent a message to the White House that the United States no longer controls the border," Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, told WND.
The severed head of investigator Rolando Armando Flores Villegas was delivered this week to an army garrison in Ciudad Miguel Aleman in the Tamaulipas state in Mexico. The city is across the river from Zapata County, Texas, the location of Falcon Lake, where David Michael Hartley allegedly was killed by Mexican pirates while he was jet-skiing with his wife Tiffany.
Only last week, Tiffany Hartley met with Flores in Ciudad Miguel Aleman and reported that the investigator seemed to be working hard to find her husband, according to ABC News.
Poe told WND that Hartley's body is unlikely to be recovered.
"When the Los Zetas drug cartel commits a murder, they dispose of the body where it will never be found, or they use the body to send a message to law enforcement," Poe said. "By decapitating Rolando Flores, the Mexican drug cartels sent a message to Mexico to stop investigating Hartley's murder."
The White House should not be intimidated, Poe insisted.
"Now is the time we should be sending more National Guard to the border."
Last week, Poe was joined by 20 members of the House to introduce the National Guard Border Enforcement Act, H.R.6253, authorizing the secretary of defense to make 10,000 National Guard troops available upon request by a U.S. governor to serve at the border under the command of the requesting governor.
Poe believes the Flores murder is just one more indication Mexico's drug war is out of control and increasingly dangerous to U.S. citizens.
"The decapitation of Rolando Flores is a warning to the United States and to Mexico that this portion of the border is protected by the Zetas," Poe said. "The Zetas intend to protect their drug routes on the border from law enforcement regardless whether that law enforcement is from Mexico or the United States."
Poe doubts Mexico will make serious efforts to apprehend David Michael Hartley's killers.
"Thousands of drug-related homicides are committed in Mexico every year, and very few are ever solved," he stressed. "That Mexican authorities have suggested Tiffany Hartley may have been involved in foul-play in her husband's death should make it clear Mexican law enforcement officers have no intention of seriously investigating or solving the crime."
Marco Antonio Guerrero Carrizales, the district attorney for the Miguel Aleman Province, adjoining Falcon Lake on the Mexican side of the border, has questioned whether Tiffany Hartley was involved in foul play.
As WND previously reported, Texas Zepata County Sheriff Sigifredo "Sigi" Gonzalez Jr. believes Hartley was killed by Mexican pirates operating on Falcon Lake as drug cartel operatives.
"A local witness saw Tiffany Hartley escaping on her jet-ski to the Texas side of the lake," Gonzalez said. "She came in at high speed and was being pursued by armed men in a Mexican fishing boat that that the witness clearly observed."
Gonzalez said the witness was a long-standing member of the Zapata community who was well known to him and regarded as highly credible.
He said the statement of the witness was recorded in the police file but the name of the witness was being withheld from the public to protect his privacy.
"The testimony of this witness dispels any idea Mrs. Hartley was involved in any wrongdoing regarding the murder of her husband," he said firmly. "She called in a 911 phone call to our office at around 2:20 pm on the day of the incident, immediately after she got to shore, and her statements to my office confirm what the local witness observed."
Gonzales confirmed to WND that he had interviewed Mrs. Hartley himself.
He attributed the failure to recover David Hartley's jet ski and his body to the unwillingness of Mexico to cooperate
"The drug cartels operate from an island on the Mexican side of the lake," Gonzalez explained.
"Mexican law enforcement authorities do not control the lake the pirates do," he said. Tons of illegal drugs are warehoused on that island by the drug cartels for smuggling into the United States and the pirates are well armed."
Emphasizing the need for the National Guard bill, Poe said the "first duty of the federal government is to protect its people."
"Texans are tired of the federal government's failure to secure our borders and enforce our laws, yet at the same time running roughshod over state governments when they try to enforce the law and protect their citizens," he said.
The Obama administration entered U.S. District Court to oppose Arizona's tough immigration law SB 1070, resulting in a decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to strike down several key provisions of the law.
In the past four years, an estimated 28,000 Mexicans have been killed in drug-related violence.
Currently, the Department of Defense has allocated only 250 National Guard troops for the entire 1,256 mile-long Texas-Mexico border.
Under the National Guard Border Enforcement Act, National Guard troops would be authorized to conduct:
- Armed vehicle and foot patrols of the U.S. southern border;
- Interdiction of a vehicle, vessel, aircraft or other similar activities;
- Search, seizure and detention of suspects;
- Construction of roads, fences and vehicle barriers;
- Search and rescue operations;
- Intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance;
- Aviation support.
Additionally, the bill would allow the secretary of defense to authorize additional troops should operational control of the U.S. border not be achieved with the first 10,000 deployed.
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