Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Borderline Killings: When Murder Becomes Politics

Politics intruded almost immediately after searchers finally found the body of Robert Krentz on March 27, next to the carcass of his slain dog. Krentz was a rancher living practically on Arizona's border with Mexico — and the suspicion was that he was killed by illegal immigrants. No one has yet been arrested in his murder, but that hasn't stopped him from becoming the focus of a rallying cry for activists and politicians calling for a tougher crackdown on border security and illegal immigrants. Like Krentz's murder, the disappearance of David Hartley in the Texas-Mexico border area quickly became a cudgel for Texas Governor Rick Perry in his re-election campaign. On Sept. 30, Hartley and his wife Tiffany, 29, were taking a jet-ski tour in Mexican waters around the submerged village of Guerrero when, Tiffany told Texas law officials, her husband was shot and killed by armed men, so-called pirates, in three fishing boats. His body has yet to be recovered; about two weeks later, the lead Mexican investigator in the case was found beheaded, his body stuffed in a suitcase that was left in front of a military base.