Saturday, October 9, 2010

American killings in Mexico may set record pace

Forty-eight Americans were murdered in Mexico during the first six months of 2010 - a deadly pace that appears likely to exceed any previous year of homicides on record, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of the U.S. State Department's death registry.

The tally doesn't include two Texans reported killed Sept. 30 in separate incidents in isolated areas of Tamaulipas, where the terrorist group known as the Zetas has been warring with their Gulf Cartel rivals in communities all along the southeast Texas border.

A college freshman from Brownsville, Jonathon William Torres Cazares, was shot and killed after authorities say his public bus got hijacked on a highway in Tamaulipas.

"He was 18 years old and traveling in Mexico visiting his family," according to a statement issued by Leticia "Letty" Fernandez, a spokeswoman for the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. "Our thoughts go out to his family and friends."

Meanwhile, David Michael Hartley, 30, of McAllen, was reported to have been shot in the head by a boatload of armed men while jet skiing on the Mexican side of the binational Falcon Reservoir, shared by Texas and Tamaulipas. His body has not yet been recovered.

State Department data shows at least three other Americans were slain this year in Tamaulipas. But no details were available. In much of Tamaulipas, the news media are no longer reporting on crime because of threats and violence against journalists carried out by drug traffickers.


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