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Mr. Speaker, it was just another day on the Texas border on October 1, 2010. A young couple, David and Tiffany Hartley, were on Falcon Lake.
Falcon Lake is a massive lake that borders Mexico in the State of Texas, an international border. They were on their jet skis, and they traveled across the international line into Mexico. They had gone to see an old mission that was partially submerged in Falcon Lake.
On their way back coming into the United States, they were being chased by three boats full, obviously, of drug cartel members. Later we learned they were the Zeta drug cartels, firing automatic weapons at David and Tiffany Hartley. David was shot in the back of the head. Tiffany tries to help, but they were still shooting, so she flees.
She comes back into the United States, and one of the boats, get this Mr. Speaker, follows her into the United States for over 3 miles until she got ashore and finally sought safety with some passerby that was standing there. Then this boat casually goes back into Mexico.
David Hartley was murdered on October 1, 5 weeks ago. The way the current runs in Falcon Lake, his body would have been into the American side in about 2 hours had not someone taken his body out of the water or cut the life preserver off of him or both. His body has never been found.
The Mexican Government quickly accused Tiffany Hartley of being the culprit, the audacity, just to not investigate this case. David Hartley's body has never been found. The perpetrators who murdered him and shot at Tiffany Hartley have never been prosecuted.
A detective by the name of Rolando Flores from Mexico was assigned to investigate this case. He apparently was the only person investigating this case. Soon after he started investigating it, his beheaded body turned up in front of a police station. Mexico quickly decided: We are not investigating the case. And, of course, they have not.
Mexico has an awful track record of solving homicides, not just homicides of Americans in Mexico, but of Mexican nationals who are murdered in the name of selling drugs across that border and bringing them into the United States. So this case has not been solved. I doubt it will ever be because of the ineptitude of the Mexican Government to preserve and defend and protect people in Mexico.
As Sheriff Sigi Gonzalez of Zapata County has said: "This area is a trafficking area for drug cartels. The Zeta drug cartels have operational control of parts of that lake and bring drugs into the United States at night."
I went down to Falcon Lake along with Sheriff Gonzalez' people. We went up and down the lake in speed boats. Of course, before we were allowed to get on the boats, we had to make sure that the locals who were taking us there had automatic weapons and everybody was wearing a bulletproof vest. Then we flew up and down the international border of this massive lake, some 60 miles long, almost 8 miles wide.
Interesting to note, Mr. Speaker. The entire time we were on the lake either in a boat or flying over it, we saw no other boats on either side. No Americans are out on the lake. No Mexican nationals are out on the lake. For 6 hours we toured that lake and we saw no one, and the reason is, it is dangerous. People on both sides of the borders don't go on that lake because it is not under the operational control of either Mexico or the United States. It is under the operational control of the Zeta drug cartel. That is a very unfortunate situation.
This is one instance of many where there are places on the international border with the country of Mexico where neither country has operational control of the border, and it is time that we force them to do something about this nonsense that is taking place, the murder of Americans.
Since then, there have been other Americans murdered in Mexico. Have these been crimes solved? Of course those crimes have not been solved.
We were just hearing comments by the other side about being at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is true. We go to war and fight the battles in other countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, we defend the borders of other nations. Maybe it is time we come home and defend our own borders and protect our borders as well as defending borders in Afghanistan and Iraq, because it is the first duty of government to protect the people.
So what do we need? We need more boots on the ground. We need National Guard troops on the ground. We need more Air National Guard, Coast Guard, and we need the help of the Border Patrol to protect the dignity and sovereignty of the United States to keep the drug cartels from bringing that cancer into the United States, because it is the first duty of government to protect the people, and it is about time we protect all the citizens of this country.
And that's just the way it is.
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