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Is beheading ‘message to the Americans’?

Submitted by on 13 October, 2010 – 7:58 pm

The beheading of a Mexican detective investigating the murder of American David Hartley in Falcon Lake raises the stakes in the U.S. and Mexico. The probe appeared to be falling Hartley two suspected cartel members Zeta.

The beheading of a Mexican detective investigating shooting September 30 American David Hartley in a border lake is forcing both Mexico and the United States to weigh the pros and cons of a potential showdown with the pirates linked cartel in Falcon Lake.

Rolando Flores, Armando Villegas, a homicide detective in the border state of Tamaulipas, was killed and his head is delivered in a suitcase to a military post just days after submitting documents to a Texas television station to appoint two members Zeta cartel as suspects in the shooting at Falcon Lake. Lake 60 km long borderline between Texas and Mexico.

“The willingness of both nations is at stake now,” says Aaron Peña Texas legislator who broke the story of the beheading on Twitter Tuesday. “I think [beheading] not strengthened the will of the people on the U.S. side of the border and the Mexican government sets out a fact of life and death.”

It comes after a record of 79 Americans were killed in Mexico in 2009, Falcon Lake shooting and killing of Mexican researcher has become a talking point in the race for governor of Texas, and has led to calls by the White House to engage directly with a further militarization of the border.

On Wednesday, the Department of Public Safety Texas on Wednesday issued a new travel warning for the first time it bluntly telling people “no go” to Mexico, the radio KURV in McAllen, Texas.

“They [the cartels] have gained a level, and [beheaded] is a message for Americans too,” says Gary Freeman, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin and an expert on border policy. “The beheading has as strong resonance with Islamic fundamentalism raises the specter of the groups to be as fanatical as bloodthirsty as Osama bin Laden and his band. Mexico seem to be copying some of its techniques, and could be intentional.

The September 30 shooting of Mr. Hartley, who was touring on his motorcycle in deep water on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake with his wife, Tiffany Hartley, is the most dramatic of a series of incidents in which armed men in the ships have faced, and sometimes stolen, U.S. fishermen Working on the other side of the lake.

Calls to strengthen the military presence
Falcon Lake, created in 1954, has long been an area of drug trafficking and human beings, and it is difficult to patrol. In the past year, tensions have increased as the Cartel of the Gulf Coast and its police force above, the Zetas, the struggle between them and the Mexican government in Mexico City for control of smuggling routes and remote hideaways like Falcon Lake.

Indeed, some have questioned Ms. Hartley history of how the couple were chased by pirates and killed her husband. Others, including some U.S. politicians have questioned why the Hartleys ventured into Mexico, despite warnings about pirate attacks.

But the beheading of a Mexican detective said Mr. Peña, creates a new level of outrage in the lands of the United States-Mexico border.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) last week urged the Obama administration to bring more national guard troops and to add armed drones to patrol the Lake Falcon. Governor Perry has resisted sending the Texas Rangers, who are under his command, to Falcon Lake on the fear of political repercussions if someone killed or injured.

Last weekend, Sigifredo Gonzalez, sheriff of Zapata County Texas, declined offers to help authorities search the Mexican state on the Mexican side of the lake, for fear of gunfire. Which came as other violence spillover of the war against drugs in Mexico, which has claimed over 26,000 lives in the past four years, began to worry many in the border areas.

Do you have a lead detective?
While Mexican authorities had said publicly that they had no suspects, homicide detective Mexico, Mr. Flores, the delivery of documents to KRGV-TV the weekend that it has named two alleged members of Zeta, Juan Pedro and José Manuel Saldivar Farias, on the set of Hartley, the TV station said.

According to the documents, the couple are members of the pirate has terrorized contingent of U.S. sailors and residents of a nearby Mexican city, and the two men and are wanted by Mexican authorities on charges of murder and robbery, the statement alleges television station.

“I guess it was killed because he was well try to help in the rescue operation or search operation, or they may have provided some documents to the media, from what I understand,” said Sheriff Gonzalez KRGV Tuesday.

Following the new murder, the political border intensified calls for President Obama to participate more directly in the U.S. response, which so far has involved a contingent of local, state and federal law enforcement authorities.

“There is no excuse for Obama not to get here,” says Peña. “We’re just going to resolve a federal response. Only hope that going away is not going to happen.”

While much of the political debate in the U.S. has focused on illegal immigration, the appalling Falcon Lake case could change the debate border as cartels attempt to intimidate the state and federal governments on both sides, says Professor Freeman.

“Our concern about the migration … missing the point,” he says. “Now is really the lawlessness on both sides and the spread of violence in the border has actually created a major crisis. With the increase in violence, people are going to have to rethink their attitude toward the border and that river or line of sand as something that might be necessary to satisfy seriously. “

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