Cross Posted from Pundita’s Blog. Heart wrenching.
The Hartleys on vacation
Hey, you! No don’t look over your shoulder. I’m talking to you. So how’s that been working out for you, the great defenders of the rights of Mexican immigrants, the rights of Americans to have dirt cheap maids and gardeners, the rights of American agribusiness and the construction industry to work Mexicans at slave wages?
Hey you! On the Left, on the Right, in the Middle — and you cute little college students and Libertarians and Tea Partiers and Greens. How do you get up every morning and manage to look at yourself in the mirror when you know goddamn well that your government has been supporting an evil regime in Mexico and doing it for generations and with American tax money?
Hey you! You no longer have the excuse that you didn’t know, that you’re not aware. You know. Now hold up your hands to the light and see David Hartley’s blood on them.
New Details Emerge in Deadly Border Lake Attack
Updated: 15 minutes ago
(AOL News – Oct. 3) — Dodging gunfire from pirates on a Texas-Mexico border lake, Tiffany Hartley was forced to make an impossible choice: risk her life by staying with her husband or return to land and seek help.
The couple were sightseeing on Jet Skis on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake on Thursday when Hartley says several boats of gunmen opened fire, striking her husband in the back of his head.
A recording of her 911 call released this weekend and reports from law enforcement officials detail the tragic incident.
“He was thrown off the Jet Ski and I couldn’t pick him up to get him on mine,” Hartley, 29, told the 911 dispatcher after she safely made it to shore. “Oh, God.”
“She said she was seeing bullets hitting close to her in the water and realized that her husband had been hit behind the head,” Zapata County, Texas, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. told ABC News. “She went back trying to find, trying to help him. She went in the water trying to load up her husband to her Jet Ski … trying to get his body and Jet Ski back to the U.S. side. She was being shot at so she finally had to let go of the body, climb back in her Jet Ski and head back over here to the United States.”
Hartley told police that the armed men, who Gonzalez said he believes are pirates associated with a Mexican drug cartel, chased her into U.S. waters as she fled.
“I’m alive because of God’s protection. There is no other reason,” she told The Denver Post.
Officials are still searching Falcon Lake for the body of her husband, David Michael Hartley, 30, according to Fox News.
“The one thing I dreaded on Falcon Lake has happened,” said the Zapata County sheriff. “The lake is not secure, the border is not secure because the incident that I dreaded the most has in fact happened. We cannot go to Mexico, we cannot recover that body, we cannot conduct an investigation, we have to tell the family we can’t do anything about it.”
If it’s news to you that pirates were operating so close to the U.S. border — it was news to me, too.
As with much news about Mexico, the news about pirate activity had been suppressed in the USA at the national media level until the murder of David Hartley. If Lou Dobbs had been on CNN I assume that by the end of August, at least, he would have picked up what was a local story in Texas before now.
But Dobbs was run off the air; the last straw for him was a shot fired at his house while he and his wife were standing outside the house. CNN was all too happy to accept his resignation so they didn’t have find an excuse to fire him for enraging Mexico’s regime and its American toadies.
The Fox News Cable-AP report that AOL linked to above has more information about cartel-sponsored pirate activity on Falcon Lake:
… The shooting led Texas DPS to again urge boaters to stay on the U.S. side of the 60-mile lake, five months after issuing its initial advisory following three pirate attacks.
But state Rep. Aaron Pena, a south Texas lawmaker briefed on the pirates earlier this year, said it has become dangerous enough to stay off the lake altogether.
“I wouldn’t do it,” Pena said. “When I go out there I have all the protection Texas can provide. But the average fisherman doesn’t have that.”
Pena said he has no doubts the pirates are working with Mexico’s drug gangsters. The cartels that control the area wouldn’t let the pirates operate otherwise, he said.
Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said he had contacted the Mexican consulate to ask them to search for Hartley on its side of the lake.
Some campers along Falcon Lake had taken to arming themselves following the state’s first warning in May. In one incident that month, state officials said five armed men boarded a boat on the U.S. side of the boundary.
The pirates either use powerful AK-47s or AR-15s to threaten their victims, Texas DPS said. The agency believes the pirates use local Mexican fishermen to operate the boats to get close to American fishermen.
Falcon Lake is a dammed section of the Rio Grande that straddles the border. The border is marked by 14 partially submerged concrete towers that mark the Rio Grande’s path before the lake was created in 1954.
According to Gonzalez, Tiffany Hartley told police that the couple rode their Jet Skis for sightseeing and to take pictures of a famous church in Old Guerrero. They were riding back when they saw the armed gunmen on the boats, and immediately began racing back to U.S. waters.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department spokesman Mike Cox said one of the boats may have crossed into U.S. waters briefly while trying to run down Tiffany Hartley. He said Tiffany Hartley estimated that the shooting took place about 5 to 6 miles from the Texas shoreline, where she parked and called for help.
In April, pirates robbed another group of boaters who also went to Old Guerrero to see the church. Cox said the most recent reported pirate sighting had been Aug. 31, when boaters saw gunmen riding a small skiff with “Game Wardin” misspelled in duct tape on the side of the vessel. Cox said it appeared the pirates were trying to imitate state game warden boats they have seen patrolling the lake. …
As to whether David Hartley would be alive if the Texas DPS had backed up its advisory with a ban — I’d assume so, but his death is just one among many awful tragedies to arise from Americans studiously looking the other way.
So this really isn’t about Mexico’s cartels. This isn’t even about pirates operating five miles from the U.S. border. This is about you and me. This is about Americans, who we really are as a people.
There’s apartheid in Mexico — places where Indians cannot even walk on the same street as the Creoles. But you never once saw Americans protesting this. Not once. Easy to protest apartheid half a world away. Easy to weep for the plight of the downtrodden far from US shores. Americans supported the Mexican regime as it raped its people and then hypocrites that we are, we welcomed Mexican immigrants as if they were fleeing Darfur.
The Mexicans are our neighbors. If you lived next door to parents beating their children bloody and shooting at them for target practice, you’d pick up the phone, wouldn’t you, and call 911. You wouldn’t say, ‘These kids are so desperate they’ll mow our lawn for five bucks,’ would you? Would you?
The Texas sheriff investigating the jet-ski murder of a U.S. citizen on a border lake blames the incident on the Mexican drug cartels, insisting his probe exonerates the wife from any foul play in the incident.
“Mexico is not cooperating with the investigation to find the body of David Michael Hartley,” Texas Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo “Sigi” Gonzalez. [...] “The incident happened on the Mexican side of the lake and we are at the mercy of the Mexican government to get involved,” Gonzalez said. “So far, Mexico has refused to do conduct any meaningful rescue or recovery efforts.”
Marco Antonio Guerrero Carrizales, the district attorney for the Miguel Aleman Province adjoining Falcon Lake on the Mexican side, has questioned whether Tiffany Hartley was involved in foul play.
Gonzalez completely rules out foul play on the part of Mrs. Hartley.
“A local witness saw Tiffany Hartley escaping on her jet-ski to the Texas side of the lake,” he 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 his name 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 p.m. 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.”
He said the pirates are used to guide Mexican drug cartel operatives smuggling drugs to the U.S. side of the lake.
Gonzalez told WND his investigation indicated the Hartleys had jet-skied over to the Mexican side of the lake to photograph an old church that is visible on the lake bank near the Old Guerrero area in Mexico.
“Mr. Hartley was a history buff,” he explained, “and they wanted to photograph the church at Old Guerrero.
Hartley worked in the oil industry, and they had just moved to McAllen, Texas, about five months ago.”
Gonzalez told WND his investigation revealed that this week Hartley and his wife were planning to move back to Colorado where he planned to take a job with Calfrac, an energy company based in Alberta, Canada.
Gonzalez said the jet-ski incident was the fifth violent incident involving Falcon Lake pirates in recent months.
The article continues with a list of incidents involving pirates on Falcon Lake and then picks up here:
“Fisherman are still advised to stay as far away as possible from any of the Argos-type fishing boats typically used as fishing vessels by Mexican fisherman,” the Texas DPS warning alerted. “The robbers are believed to be members of a drug trafficking organization or members of an enforcer group linked to a drug trafficking organization who are heavily armed and using AK-47s or AR-15 rifles to threaten their victims.”
Gonzalez said Mexican fishing licenses are sold in Zapata County to U.S. citizens that want to game fish on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake.
Still, he warned of the danger in doing so.
“Mexico has taken no steps to control the pirates,” he said. “Mexican law enforcement authorities have routinely ignored our requests for assistance.”
Texas Park and Wildlife Division Game Wardens and Texas DPS officers, including the Texas Rangers, have been at Falcon Lake since Thursday, assisting the Zapata County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation of the jet-ski murder.
TPWD has deployed two 21-foot boats on the lake to search for David Hartley’s body and his jet ski.
The Texas DPS has deployed its SWAT team, one of its helicopters and its riverboat to assist.
Still, Gonzalez is not confidant U.S. law enforcement will make any progress investigating the case.
“The incident occurred on the Mexican side of the lake, and truly we are at the mercy of the Mexican government,” he said.
Following David Hartley’s murder, Texas law enforcement agencies are telling boaters on Falcon Lake to stay on the U.S. side.
A correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor filed a report from Mexico City on October 5 (no timestamp on article) that Mexican authorities were still looking in Falcon Lake for David Hartley’s body and denying various reports:
The state prosecutor’s office of Tamaulipas in northern Mexico denied reports in American news media that Mexican authorities have quit searching for 30-year-old David Hartley. Mr. Hartley’s wife says he was shot in the head Thursday by armed boaters.
Nor have Mexican authorities doubted the veracity of testimony coming from family of the deceased, the state prosecutor’s office told the Monitor. Press officer Ruben Dario denied claims reportedly made by Hartley’s family that a body has not been found because Mexican authorities have not bothered to look.
The 60-mile area of reservoir and lakes that straddles United States and Mexican territory has been hit by heavy rains that could make the search more difficult, Mr. Dario says. “The dam has been releasing lots of water to prevent dangerous levels, so there are many factors involved,” he says.
Prosecutor Marco Antonio Guerrero from the municipality of Miguel Aleman, who is handling the investigation, said he could not comment by phone to the press. However, he denied reports that he had questioned whether Hartley’s wife, Tiffany, was telling the truth about the attack.
CBS News reported Tuesday that Mr. Guerrero said no evidence of a crime existed as there was no sign of a jet ski or a life vest worn by Hartley, appearing to suggest that Tiffany could have had a hand in her husband’s disappearance. “We are not certain that the incident happened the way they are telling us,” he was quoted saying.
David Hartley’s family responded that they backed Tiffany’s account. His mother today called on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to intervene. [...]