Monday, October 4, 2010

South of the border, down Mejico way

Texas officials on Friday renewed warnings about pirates marauding on a U.S.-Mexico border lake after a Colorado tourist was gunned down in Mexican waters while his wife dodged bullets and raced her Jet Ski back to American soil.

Search teams combed the U.S. side of Falcon Lake for David Michael Hartley, 30, whose wife told police he was shot in the back of the head Thursday after being ambushed by gunmen on boats.

The gunmen are suspected pirates who have turned Falcon Lake, a waterskiing and bass fishing hotspot down the border from Laredo, into uneasy waters for fishermen and boaters. There have been at least five reported run-ins with pirates on the lake this year, though prior holdups had never been deadly.

. . . The shooting led Texas public safety officials 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.

. . . Violence on the Mexican side of the lake has been climbing for several months, as a fractured partnership between the region's dominant Gulf Cartel and its former enforcers, the Zetas, plunged many of the area's Mexican border cities into violence.

When pirates threaten foreigners in the Middle East and off the coast of north Africa, the U.S. sends in the Navy and the Marines.

Pirates in our own backyard? For some reason, no U.S. response.

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