The federal government is ignoring an explosion of Mexican drug violence that increasingly threatens Americans, says the Texas sheriff thrust into the national spotlight by the apparent murder of a Colorado native on a lake straddling the border. The Denver Post says Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. predicted more trouble ahead – and the possibility that terrorists could infiltrate the U.S. States along the 2,000 miles of border stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. “We’re experiencing an actual war yards away from where we’re at,” Gonzalez told Colorado law enforcement officers.
David Hartley died Sept. 30 after his wife reported that he was shot on the Mexican side of Falcon Reservoir during a sightseeing trip. Gonzalez painted a shocking picture of violence along the border – of drug smugglers easily crossing the border, of law officers and ranchers killed, of bodies dismembered as macabre warnings to rivals, of cartels infiltrating cities across the U.S. He underscored his message with graphic photographs, such as one of a dismembered body found in an oil drum, and video clips, including one that showed a cartel member being questioned by a rival. After the man identified his cartel, a gun was fired and he flopped over, dead. Gonzalez said the federal government ignores the problem, repeatedly dismissing his concerns and – in the process – losing a foothold in an ongoing battle through the unwillingness to secure the border.