Skip to main content

TribBlog: Falcon Lake Investigator Decapitated

According to a Texas lawmaker, the severed head of Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, a Mexican investigator probing the case of David Hartley's disappearance on Falcon Lake, was delivered to the Mexican military in a suitcase Tuesday morning.

Falcon Lake, the sight of a recent high-profile murder. A Mexican investigator in the case has turned up murdered, too, one …

According to reports, the severed head of Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, a Mexican investigator probing the case of David Hartley's disappearance on Falcon Lake, was delivered to the Mexican military in a suitcase Tuesday morning.

The news was broken by state Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. He later tweeted that the Zapata County Sherrif Sigifredo Gonzalez had confirmed the report. When contacted by the Tribune, the Zapata County sherrif's office said Gonzalez was not in the office and that it was unable to comment on the reports.

Peña could only speculate as to the motive for the killing, but he did note that Flores had recently acted as a source to Rio Grande Valley television station KRGV, providing it with information regarding members of the Zeta cartel being investigated in relation to Hartley's disappearance.

As for his use of social media to spread the news, Peña said: "Mexican newspaper reporters are in fear of their lives when it comes to reporting this sort of information. Twitter has become one of our main resources for communicating over the border."

Peña, chairman of the House Select Committee on Emergency Preparedness, said dealing with drugs and drug violence in his community was his main motivation for running for office. While acts of violence like this may make the situation seem bleak, he said, "There’s always hope. There are many good people fighting against this, many brave people in Mexico." He also said it was important for people on the Texas side of the border who use drugs socially to remember that they "are co-partners in the violence that occurs here."

With an eye on the budget shortfall ahead next session, Peña said this event should be a reminder that the state "needs to look seriously at not cutting law enforcement when the budget comes up." 

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

Quality journalism doesn't come free

Yes, I'll donate today