Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Falcon Lake Investigator Decapitated, Head Delivered to Mexican Army Base

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 |



The severed head of a Mexican investigator involved in the Falcon Reservoir case was delivered in a suitcase to the Mexican army today, according to Mexican authorities.

Ruben Dario Rios Lopez, spokesman for the Tamaulipas Attorney General's Office, confirmed that Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, the state police commandant heading the Mexican investigation into the disappearance of David Michael Hartley, was killed today.

A representive of Mexico's 8th Military Zone — which spans the entire state of Tamaulipas and is based in Reynosa — said Flores' head was delivered to an army post in Miguel Aleman.

Hartley, 30, of McAllen, is widely believed dead after what his wife, Tiffany Young-Hartley, has described as an attack by cartel "pirates" on the Mexican side of the binational waterway.

She has said three boats of gunmen opened fire on them as they were riding personal watercraft, fatally shooting her husband in the head.

In a media blitz that has brought widespread attention to the case, Young-Hartley, 29, has appeared on all the major TV networks and cable news outlets over the past week, presenting a harrowing account of being forced to flee for her life to the U.S. shore of the lake after she tried in vain to get her husband’s limp body onto her SeaDoo watercraft.

Skepticism about that account has also been widespread, however, after Mexican officials last week questioned her version of events, saying they had found no evidence of the purported attack or his remains.

Rios did not have any details about Flores' death but assured that it had nothing to do with the Hartley probe. The spokesman offered no basis for that assurance, however, and said Mexican officials need Young-Hartley to meet with them and file a complaint in the city of Miguel Aleman.

On Monday, Tamaulipas state officials continued to deny U.S. and Mexican news reports over the weekend that a Tamaulipas official — one of Flores' subordinates — had identified two brothers as the men responsible for Hartley’s death.

The Associated Press reported that Tamaulipas State Police unit chief Juan Carlos Ballesteros said investigators believe brothers Juan Pedro and Jose Manuel Saldivar Farias may have killed Hartley as he snapped photos of a partiall submerged church from his personal watercraft at Old Guerrero.

The officer told AP that the brothers were already being sought for allegedly belonging to a gang of pirates operating on Falcon Lake. Ballesteros also said they allegedly terrorized a Mexican town at the south end of the lake, but he gave no details of the investigation.

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31 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

PLease God Mexico!

Anonymous said...

Well I guess this will lower the fingers being pointed at the Wife. Poor woman had to go through hell and get torn apart by the public when she was actually telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

maybe he was also riding a watercraft and got tangled on a fishing line.

abuelito cabrito said...

makes the wifes story sound more believable...call speelburg and cancel....o no?...i used to go get lunch in Miguel Aleman all the time ......at a little place called Chivo De Oro ...now if i went there i think i would be lunch

Anonymous said...

It's not right, but they should drop it now. How many Mexicans will be killed investigating her husband's death?

Ovemex said...

Quite honestly, I don't think this is a concrete "hecho" pointing to the woman telling the truth.

I don't even want to get into that, I have no idea, but I would imagine having investigators out there (for any reason) is NOT welcome, and this is proof.

This is a "hotspot", I'm pretty sure there is alot more than the Hartley incident that is meant to stay under wraps (by certain people)..Investigators out asking questions, digging around, could potentially happen upon a lot more than this one man's body.

It is tragic. The same thing happened to the lead investigator in the 72 immigrants found dead.

Buela Chivis said...

Maybe..I posted the other day..I may have to eat my words/suspicions..However this really does not do it for me. They lived in Reynosa for 2 yrs, they had Mx Plates and it could be a mistaken identity..BUT it could be a deal gone very bad. The problems I have is how illogical it is:
1. that she would have enough time to examine his wounds...declare there were 2 wounds..brain matter flowing, all this while she says a gun pointed at her head.
2. Cartels do not have a conscience..why was she spared? SHe actually says the men discussed her fate and turned away...but changed their mind and chased her again..come on folks...
3. Stratfor has a comphensive article saying it maybe mistaken idenity that the cartels saw the plates and thought the two were scouting the area for another cartel..ok..that actually seems plausible..until you get to the part they let her go...
4. Mx took so much heat they quickly produced the brothers as suspects...again come on folks..too quick but it explains #5
5. The bros were not happy about this shit and bringing them into the fold...all that bad US press ya know? So maybe they decided to send a message of their unhappy state? Hence..the beheading..or
6. Just maybe the beheading was retaliation for one of the thousands of other crimes the inspector has/is involved in...

I am simply saying if I were on a jury, which I have been a few times, given this lack of evidence I could not give a "guilty" vote against Zs or the brothers or anyone..even the wife.

I cannot believe I am actually in the uncomfortable position of defending the bastards. and where the hell is the body? why would cartel want it? makes no sense

bottom line ...may never know, but you know I stopped caring 2 days after...too much press and importance placed on this because it is an american missing...it is a fucking disgrace. WHat about the victims of Mx? or their plight?...a passing 60 seconds and no mas? fair? hell to the NO!!...

Anonymous said...

I agree with you overmex, the guy was a state police commandant he would oversee the investigation but his subordinates would do the dirty work and work the case, he also oversaw other cases, which sadly in the state of Tamaulipas, you dont know whats even going on in that state, did anyone hear that in Tampico they killed 12 people between the zetas and GDG yesterday but this was all through twitter so I dont know who the f*^K to believe now in days, for one part the el universal said it was false but then come out that is true?? So i ask myself what is going on in Tamaulipas?? I hope the governor Eugenio Hernández Flores leaves real soon he hasnt done anything to help the state that corrupt mofo...

Anonymous said...

If this is true, these bastards are pushing their limits by thinking that they are coming into our country to terrorize our people, even if it happened slightly on the mexican side. These bullies are going to regret it when the americans really start to get pissed off. I hope at least that the minute men start patrolling that area. For them, that would be heaven to kill some dirty mexican pirates. And we could also make good use of these dirty minute men too.

Anonymous said...

How does one go about "delivering" a head in a suitcase to a military base without garnering attention or a confrontation? Do you walk up and say "Here, this is for you?".
This armpit for a country is marinating in it's own feces. I feel for the common citizen because there is no one to turn to, no one to trust.

Anonymous said...

I bet the wife don't go to Miguel Aleman to "cooperate" with the investigation. Sad, but they have silenced the whole thing. Which was their goal.
Murdering military commanders and mayors...what part of "failed state" are we missing? Whose control is Tamaulipas under, anyway?

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of US media focusing on Mexico when there is so much going on in the states.
It's my opinion...but who really knows what these people were doing and WHY DO WE CARE? This is not important. The US goverment needs to fix the border problem - close it - and follow the same rules that Mexico has in place for Immigration. And then fix the drug problem from both sides. But it doesn't do any good to harp on Mexican violence...it's killing the tourism in MX which will make it an even poorer neighbor. This violence is not affecting the beautiful places there are to visit in Mexico just like the horrible crimes in Philadelphia dont affect your Liberty Bell tour.

abuelito cabrito said...

why was she not killed...mebbe they just missed her ...small fast moving target....mebbe they wanted to catch her alive...she would be worth a pretty penny alive ...all dressed up...bailando el tubo , in some rico culeros casa...or just for the ransom....mebbe?...just a thought...at least now you go to give her story a metid y metid chance of being true

nasty hairy said...

how sweet it would be if our government declared open season on these assholes...and invited all the millions of american good'ol boys down to south texas to shoot the hell out of the Z....talk about fun....yeeeeehhhhaaaawwwwww!!!!!!!!!..in a couple of months there wouldn't even be a mouse sticking it's head up along the river...this little incident has made it to cnn...and big mouth rabble rouser jane valesquez mitchel is hollering about it every night on national tv.....this might be the one that wakes the USA up....and it will be a sad day for the banditos when that happens

Anonymous said...

Mexican drug war has been battling for years, and is still counting. Look back in 1945, Americans were killed by Japanese in Hawaii. Months later, American dropped an atomic bomb down on two major cities in Japan wiping out thousands of people. Japanese President had to order for an instant surrender. Mexican drug lords are not the Presidents. With billions of dollars on them, exclusive weapons, hired lots of professional hitmen and have hundreds / thousands of supporters by their sides, the drug lords and their associates will never be forgotten for the murder of 28,000 victims and criminals. If U.S president Turman lived today, he might order for another bomb to be dropped down on Mexico and the drug war would come to an ending, but Mexicans did not kill thousands of Americans in one day so it's different. We do not know how long the drug war will go on. Only God knows when to stop.

Buela Chivis said...

@ abuelito Cabrito

I see her on CNN headline news every night, her story changes but one thing consistant she said as she pulled her 250 lb husband from the water there were two men in the boat pointing guns at her head. unless they are blind, one should have hit her. she stated they discussed what to do with her and left but changed their mind and went after her while shooting. ask yourself they were good enough to get two shots into the husbands head but not hers.

Cabrito behave yourself..saying all that shit about worth a pretty penny, ay dios! look at her, have you been drinking amigo? where the hell do you live saying this? ... jajaja

@ Nasty hairy

yep I could not listen to velez-mitchell hollering either, her voice is like nails on a chalkboard..but as for the good ol boys shooting the hell out of the Zs..it WOULD take millions, in an even match your boys would be blown to moonshine heaven...in dismembered pieces of course..

'lito 'brito said...

life long friend of the couple defends woman on lake...says no way she did anything wrong here is the link http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2010/10/11/jet.ski.murder.case.hln

Anonymous said...

whoever was assuming that she murdered her husband was probably wrong but that doesnt mean that this dingbat woman isnt off the hook. these questions should be asked: was the husband shot from close-up or from a distance? was he shot from the front or the back and with what kind of gun? guess we'll never know because the body was probably disposed by the murderers. they were living close to that area at one time. so if they were familiar with that area, what were they doing in this remote and dangerous area to begin with? i read that they were at falcon lake for a couple weeks launching from the american side and going back and forth to mexico. i believe the church at salado is the focal point here. sounds to me like a drug deal gone bad. i think they should give her a drug test and a lie detector test. this sory is shrouded with mystery. as you can see, the american media is starting to get a hard-on for this story: white couple, husband murdered by mexican pirates, decapitated head, and a spooky looking church standing above a lake of water. this is an interesting story.

Anonymous said...

the part that gets to me is that the body is missing. man, these cartels are good. they keep leaving us guessing. the mexican investigations dept. sucks big ones. get the U.S. investigators to go in there and kick some good ol' american ass! A-jul

Anonymous said...

the american media is sloooow. borderland beat has been talking about this incident for about two weeks already. A-jul

ajulio said...

this is another incident that is hitting home. these cartels are getting closer and closer to the american side. they have total disregard for their american neighbors. they are pushing the boundaries. i hope this continues so the U.S. gets involved in some way. i know im dreaming, but i would love for us to occupy the mexican border cities.

Anonymous said...

Please send more americans the mafia will love to put out of they misery.

Welcome to Jungle

Buela Chivis said...

@7:14

she does not want a polygraph and is offended at the suggestion "there is no reason for me to"

I don't take into account what their friends say..guilty people often have supporting friends and family...

right, OJ?

Ovemex said...

http://jacqui.instablogs.com/entry/zetas-mistook-hartleys-for-gulf-cartel-spies/

According to this report, low-rank Zetas misttok the couple for Gulf Cartel "halcones"..

The body according to the report, was most likely destroyed the same day, for damage control, after finding out it was a U.S. citizen.

The decapitation of the investigator was a sign to both sides that the body would not be recovered and to back off.

Anonymous said...

To buela chivas
i was skeptical at first, but much less now. The scenario that i imagine is that the Z mistook then for rivals. I think that after they shot him, they approached. When they saw the güerita, they realized their mistake and took off. When they thought about it, they decided to go Back and try to clean up the Mess by taking out the only witness, la güera. As for the body, it was taken. Thats what they do! Throw it in a sótano, or dissolve it in acid! Whats so surprising about that?

Anonymous said...

Capo Chapo:
Con puro respecto. Yo soy guia del silvestre con turistas mundial cerquita de Batopilas y, tambien un gringuito. Puedo contar contigo si no tratamos de chingarlos en sus negocios? Todos tienen que viver en este mundo que es mas loca que nunca. Podemos que asegurar La Paz en Batopilas? Gracias amigo de Sinaloa.
El Woosie

Anonymous said...

Ni Modo, es la vida. Trataban de hacer un buen negocio con coca que sale mal? Chupalo el polvo y suckelo.
Perito Moreno

Buela Chivis said...

@9:23

that is the new scenario proposed by stratfor yesterday and all over the US news as a possibilty. yes, could be...but how would they know they made a "mistake" and since when do they care? I don't think she killed the guy..but I am not convinced she is totally innocent. But I honestly do not know, nothing is clear...after a few days we heard her vest may have blood, then that fact went away, no poly, which I would insist on so the suspicion would be off me, right away, her story of pulling he husband out of the water examine the wounds, no jet ski, and those suckers are difficult to manuver in/out water, we back the trailer to the water edge...lots of little stuff that does not make sense..

I don't see anything being clear, ever, and the lady of the lake should take a poly because if she is 100% innocent and does not take one suspicion will follow her every where she goes. But she does not want to take one and is pissed at the suggestion...not good..

Anonymous said...

I saw an interview where she said she offered to take a poly

Anonymous said...

To Buela and the rest:

You speculate perhaps that this was a case of mistaken identity but they (the gunmen) didn't realize they made a mistake until after they shot this guy. We are to believe that the mistaken identity was in part because the couple had Mexican plates on their trailer, right? This lake is a big lake, correct? I mean it's not a pond. It's like 1 mile or so wide. So just how did these "pirates" see the plates on the trailer from a mile away? Do they have really good binoculars? If they have that good of binoculars, couldn't they have identified the couple long before the couple got with in shooting range????? If they were able to identify a Mexican plate from a distance, they would have been able to identify the couple.

This doesn't add up. This isn't a simple case of mistaken identity.

J said...

The little Zeta's on the American side saw the Reynosa plates, and chirped the Zeta's on the Mexican side, that they were CDG, allegedly, that's the story.

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