Falcon Lake 'pirate' shooting: Where's missing boater David Hartley?
Nearly a week after Mexican pirates allegedly shot and killed David Hartley on Falcon Lake, Texas, his body has still not been found. What might be causing the delay?
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Tamaulipas state police, however, say that Ms. Hartley must file a formal complaint before they can begin an official investigation. Ms Hartley is expected to travel to Mexico today. In the meantime, an informal search has already been launched, said Ruben Dario Rios, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office, according to published reports.Skip to next paragraph
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US officials and politicians like Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) of Texas say they've been in communication with various Mexican agencies since the shooting happened and demand prompt action.
"David Hartley must be found," Congressman Cuellar told a Texas newspaper. "We can and must continue to urge our Mexican counterparts to search for David Hartley.”
On Wednesday, that pressure seemed to pay off as Mexican officials began a more thorough search, using helicopters and more boats on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake, which US authorities are not allowed to patrol. The investigation also appears to be making some headway as Texas authorities glean more information from sources on the other side of the lake.
Yet the cross-border tension remains palpable as Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, who is heading up the investigation on the US side, declined an invitation to join the search in Mexico. "I think if we go out there and we end up getting into a gun battle, it's definitely an international incident that would have some repercussions," he said.
'Take back the lake'
In an interview on KURV radio in Texas, Ms. Hartley herself echoed a call by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to address the situation not just diplomatically, but with a show of force, including more National Guard troops.
“They need to have a realization, a wake-up call," Ms. Hartley said. "We need to get people down here. We need to get our Army and military and whoever. We need to double our Border Patrol and take back the lake. Why in the heck do [the cartels] have [control of] that lake? They have most of that lake.”
Pena echoed her sentiments: "On the Mexican side every inch is controlled by the cartels and it's a hotbed of criminal activity."
In the past, the Obama administration has defended its border policy against critics, saying it has spent more time and money, and deployed more National Guard troops to secure the border than any other administration. Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler said the US government has offered resources to help find Mr. Hartley.
Nevertheless, pressure is rising on the Obama administration to get more directly involved with the situation on Falcon Lake.
"President Obama says he wants lawmakers in both houses of Congress to make progress this year on reforming the immigration system," writes Jim Kouri, vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, on the Borderfire Report blog. "However, he's not talking about how his administration is failing to protect citizens from criminal aliens."