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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Falcon Lake Murder: Murder and corruption

What is certain is that Comandante Armando Flores is dead.

What isn't certain is how he died.  So where is the information coming from that he was decapitated?

According to "Alerta Periodista" (written in Spanish but I will translate to English):

The Attorney Generals office of Justice in Tamaulipas accepted that the regional police officer in command of the Minesterial Police in Camargo, Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, was assassinated, but he denied ever giving information to any mediums in the United States in regards to him being decapitated.

"I cannot reveal the condition in which he was found, but it was confirmed that it was a homicide," said Rubén Darío Ríos López.

"What I can say is that I have not confirmed to any (news) medium that he was decapitated and that I have not spoken with any reporter from news mediums in the United States," he added.
So if the Attorney General's office in Tamaulipas did not not release that information, who did?

According to TPMMuckraker, the news first appeared in a tweet by Texas State Representative Aaron Peña.  That tweet was posted on 10/12/10 at 12:31pm.  Flores death had not yet been confirmed, nor had any details been released as to what condition he was found in, which begs the question, how did Rep. Peña know the details before anyone else?

TPM states to have questioned Rep. Peña about this, to which Peña stated that he had obtained the information from a "trusted source" although he would not say if the source was American or Mexican.

While it is possible that the information could have been received via a "trusted source" it is this bloggers opinion that this is a hint at something more sinister.

My opinion is that Peña's "trusted source" was Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, and only because he's closer to where the murder took place, not to mention that these two have been tightly holding hands since the Falcon Lake "murder".

One can only wonder what a Representative for Hidalgo County is doing holding hands with a Sheriff from Zapata County?

It is also strange that in the process of investigating this case, most every source leads back to Sheriff Gonzalez or Rep. Aaron Peña, and forgive this author for not trusting a man (Peña) who would turn his back on his constituents by choosing to side with the enemy of the Rio Grande Valley...Republicans!

Furthermore, it is also my opinion that Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez knew about Mr. Flores death because he had something to do with it.  Again, while it is possible that he could have received this information first from authorities, or even from people who live there in Mexico, one still has to be leery of his "informants" whom, we all should already know by now, are members of the drug cartel.  One also has to wonder at that connection, considering the cartel don't just provide information without a favor being returned.

I wonder what that favor is, Sheriff Sigi?

The other problem with this story is that Sheriff Sigi claims that he heard Mr. Flores death was because of some documents he had provided to a news station that revealed the names of Zeta suspects, but the reality is that every news station has been reporting from the beginning that it was Mr. Ballesteros who had given that information, and not Mr. Flores.  If anything, Mr. Flores doubted the Hartley story because there was no proof or evidence that anything had occurred that day in September 30, 2010.

So if it was Mr. Ballesteros who provided that information, information that Sigi was so willing to accept, then why wasn't he the one murdered?

Now, don't get me wrong.  It's not to say that I wish Mr. Ballesteros dead, but the fact that it was Mr. Flores who was murdered is very suspicious indeed, and only because Mr. Flores was doubting this case since he first became involved!

Suspicious also because the interview he did where he doubted the Hartley story was done on the 9th of October.

On the 9th of October, El Universal was reporting that it was Mr. Juan Carlos Ballesteros who had given the names of the two suspects. 

In my opinion, these "two Zeta suspects" are rivals of Mr. Sigifredo Gonzalez (and I say Mr. because I have my doubts that he's worthy of being called a Sheriff).  Sigi and Mr. Ballestero's coordinated the set up and Mr. Flores probably refused to cooperate.

Maybe Mr. Flores knew something about this case that would have revealed the truth?

More than likely that is so because he was very adamant about claiming that nothing in the Hartley's story added up.

While I was not able to find the article, I am sure Mr. Sigi said somewhere that he feared that someone was going to get their "head chopped off" for digging too much into the case.  It would be no surprise then that Mr. Sigi's fortune telling powers once again offered themselves to come true.

In fact, to me, it is no coincidence either.


    10/12/10. 4:09 pm
    Texas State Representative Aaron Peña (D-Edinburg) just tweeted that the severed head of the lead investigator in the case of an American man who disappeared on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake in South Texas was delivered in a suitcase to the Mexican military this morning. Though a spokesman for the attorney general of Tamaulipas state in Mexico told CNN he had not heard the report, Peña claimed in an earlier tweet to have confirmation from the Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, whose office is heading the U.S. investigation into the Sept. 30 disappearance of David Michael Hartley.

  2. Aaron Pena's twitter account is a "digital diary" of Falcon Lake/Hartley announcements and links. My PC is down (using phone) and difficult to cut and the twitters in chronicle order. Rumor has it he owns a weekend home in near the lake. (not on the lake, in one of the suburbs near the lake).

    Aaron Pena's Blog - searched Hartley

  3. "Suspicious also because the interview he did where he doubted the Hartley story was done on the 9th of September."

    Did you mean OCTOBER? ...the devil is in the details you know...

  4. Thank you anonymous. Yes, I meant October. I already made the change.

    BJ, I wonder why they are reporting Aaron Pena as being a democrat? I thought he changed parties? Aaron Pena made that tweet at 12:31pm the day after Mr. Flores was supposedly murdered. Which means, Mexican officials were not even done investigating the death of Mr. Flores. One official even claimed that they didn't even know if the victim was one of their officers because they had not heard of anyone in their department having been murdered. It's odd how Mr. Pena would know this, even before a body was officially found. Only three sorts of people could possibly know immediately before anyone else what happened to Mr. Flores: the killer, a witness, or the one who ordered the killing. In this case, I think the reason Mr. Pena knew before anyone else did is because he knows the one who ordered the killing, and in my opinion, that person would be Sigi. He's the only one that has a lot to lose if the truth comes out about this case. No government funds for "border security", he loses his position for being stupid, and more than likely, he could also get killed if he promised his "informants" some form of compensation and isn't able to pull through.

  5. Agree with you iamme. I cut and pasted too much from the guanabee article, was only trying to show you the last sentence. (confirms Sigi as source)

    Peña claimed in an earlier tweet to have confirmation from the Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, whose office is heading the U.S. investigation into the Sept. 30 disappearance of David Michael Hartley

    PS: I enjoy your articles.

  6. iamme said....
    BJ, I wonder why they are reporting Aaron Pena as being a democrat? I thought he changed parties?

    Prev snip from Guanabee link was dated 10/12/10, he was Democratic at that time.

    On December 14, 2010, Peña announced that he was switching to the Republican Party for the legislative session beginning in January 2011.



    “Somebody once told me that if you don't have a seat at the table, you may be on the menu,” Peña said at state GOP headquarter

    (Which indicates to me that he is not a leader...but a follower.)
    Sarcism intended ;)

  7. Fantastic story "Borderline Madness," and great comments on this story, bj.

    This is part of the story is what I am following and very interested in. Since the day it was announced that Mexican authorities, or police, were looking for two named and extremely dangerous suspects, who may or may not have been involved with Hartley, I have thought something was very wrong.

    The announcement of the names of these brothers, without their capture first, seemed like it would be suicide.

    As it turns out it was murder.

    The bottom of this, the truth, may lead to the truth about this whole case.

    Thank you for doing this amazing work and getting this information out.

  8. I checked Aaron Pena's Twitter Acct. It appears that he follows several MSM and local news sources tweets... and then just retweets the beheading news. Viewable in his tweet wall timeline.

    Arons First Tweet - 1:31 pm!/AaronPena/status/27163319247

    He then sends a tweet request to a photojournalist (Saen Photo) from San Antonio, Texas to confirm the beheading story

    Saen Photo confirms the story back in a tweet at 2:01pm as the time and a link to My San Antonio news as the source.

    Pena sends out second tweet confirming that his earlier tweet on the beheading is true at 2:19 pm.!/AaronPena/status/27166614010

    Pena's twitter account is marked as a high priority profile. Guessing that the MSM runs with the story because of such....and Pena gets his name out there. (goal accomplished)

    How does the Mexican police department send out crime information, to be released as news globally? (I don't even know how the US does it any more.)


  9. You know....I think I am going to go back and check the twitter feed again. (PC kept hanging/stalling because Pena's timeline wall is large. I couldn't cut & past because of this also.)

    Maybe I missed a tweet before 1:31pm that referred to hearing news from Sigi. Will repost later.


  10. Believe in fairness and unbiased I need to pass on this link that I found. Blog appears to be dated 2010.

    In 2004, the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals introduced the John Austin Pena Memorial Scholarship which was created to honor the memory of Pena, who at 16 lost his battle with addiction.

    John was the son of Texas State Representative Aaron Pena of Edinburgh, who before his son’s death was a prominent attorney in the Rio Grande Valley, but after suffering the devastating loss of John, and in his own personal quest for answers to this life changing situation, he moved away from the practice of law and into the arena of public policy.

    His son’s death has been linked to the Mexican drug cartels, and Pena ran for office in 2002 on the platform of reforming drug laws, increased education around drug prevention and establishing more drug treatment for uninsured Texans. Pena is currently in his fifth term of office.

    The John Austin Pena Scholarship is presented annually to a student in recovery who is pursing his or her college degree.

  11. I reverified Aaron Pena's Twitter acct, as I mentioned I would in my previous post above. I did not see any previous tweets referencing Sig as a source before noon. (Doesn't mean it wasn't there at one time?)

    Did you notice that my previous Pena twitter links indicate a one hour time comparing to your same links? Weird. I noticed that Twitter is currently mid-phase in converting their customers to their new upgrade. I wonder if that in some way, affected the webpage timestamp code? I did check my phone and PC to make sure that my time settings were correct. Regardless, my point is that I just want to make sure that the information that I have listed is accurate.

    Information that I have listed below, I copied and pasted today is today, 01/22/11...and Arron Pena's Twitter account seems to have now been converted to the new Twitter profile.

    Severed Head of Mexican investigator in #FalconLake case delivered to the Mexican military. #rgv #drugwar 12:31 PM Oct 12th, 2010 via TweetDeck

    @SAEN_Photo Confirming source. Will provide further info. 1:01 PM Oct 12th, 2010 via HootSuite in reply to SAEN_Photo

    RT @willripley: Zapata co. sheriff confirms MX investigator in Falcon lake case was decapitated, his head delivered to MX military today. 1:15 PM Oct 12th, 2010 via TweetDeck

    My earlier report is confirmed: Severed Head of Mexican investigator in #FalconLake case delivered to the Mexican military. #rgv #drugwar 1:19 PM Oct 12th, 2010 via TweetDeck

    Personally, I think Aaron Pena has "inserted" himself into the Hartley fiasco for political and personal reasons. My opinion only. (Not debunking yours, just want to openly state mine.)

    Have a great weekend!

  12. FASCINATING story and great reporting iamme. I'll be following this.

  13. Thank you Jennifer, :)

    BJ, yes, that's the problem with these online searches. You can't be too certain if the time stamps are accurate and I think it's not just twitter, but the whole internet that's messing up with the timestamps. I've used the timeline in google search for some of my investigations in this case, and I noticed that Tiffany's story was coming up as being reported in the months of March, July, etc. I would click on the links to see if the newspaper also had the same date as what was showing on the search and it did. Thank you for all the help with the links you've provided. It is saving me from doing the search myself, lol. :)

  14. bj, great posts on a very important blog.

    Your question: "How does the Mexican police department send out crime information, to be released as news globally? (I don't even know how the US does it any more.)," is a question I and others have too, and we are still trying to get answers.

    FYI Will Ripley has a fb page for his station, KRGV, under "Will Ripley" and "Station" comes up under his name.

    I checked back to Oct. 9. Nothing especially revealing, but was unable to copy and paste from that page (or from BDH page). Will sent messages to his readers about the Pena tweets and verification from Sigi. It all goes back to Sigi.

  15. In Mexico the media is a little more blunt. When they capture a criminal, they will put him up the wall of shame, which means the criminal will stand in front of this wall, if he stole, all the items he stole will be displayed in front of him or around him, cars included, and then they will ask him hard interrogative questions. Some of these are not to be believed completely, as my husbands family from Mexico has had this happen to members of the family, and they say sometimes the police plant either more than what they really stole, or invent it if you were wanted for another crime and had no grounds to arrest you in the first place. In other words, if you were wanted for assault and they had no proof that you did it, then they would hunt you down, and depending on where you were caught, they would just grab any item and say it was stolen just to arrest you. Sometimes they'll add more than just that stolen item.

    However, I've never seen them come to the US media first. Even more curious is the fact that the Mexican media didn't even get videos of the beheaded body, if indeed it was beheaded, or just the body, if indeed Villegas was murdered.

    My personal opinion is that Villegas is not dead at all. He may have been kidnapped, but not dead. The reason for that is that there was no touching the subject by the Mexican media other than regurgitating the American news. If Villegas had indeed been murdered, they would have at least had video or statement from the grieving wife. Again, here we have no proof that a murder took place other than someone else's word for it.


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