Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fear grips Americans on lake at Mexican border

For decades, Falcon Lake was known primarily as an anglers' paradise, a tranquil reservoir straddling the border with Mexico where a clever fisherman could catch enormous largemouth bass. These days, however, the lake is developing a reputation for something else: piracy. As a prolonged conflict between drug dealers and the government has eroded civil order in Mexico, gangs of armed thugs in speedboats have begun robbing fishermen and tourists on the lake. Last week, gunmen in three boats reportedly shot and killed an American as he and his wife toured the lake on Jet Skis. The Texas Rangers have warned Americans to keep to the U.S. side of the 60-mile-long reservoir, which was formed in 1953 when the Rio Grande was dammed. The Border Patrol and the Coast Guard have increased patrols on the lake, officials said. The shooting was the latest in a string of attacks on the lake that began April 30. The gangs carry AK-47s and sometimes claim to be Mexican federal police or U.S. game wardens. State police say the robbers are believed to be members of a drug gang, although it is unclear if the attacks are the work of one group or several...more

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