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Murder of Mexican investigator in Falcon Lake probe reveals drug cartels' reach

The killing of Mexican investigator Rolando Flores has fueled speculation that drug traffickers killed American David Hartley on Falcon Lake.

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In this Oct. 6, 2010, file photo Tiffany Hartley (l.) and family members, lay a wreath near the site where her husband, David Hartley, was shot last month on Falcon Lake in Zapata, Texas. U.S. and Mexican authorities said Tuesday, Mexican state police Commander, Rolando Flores, has been killed while investigating the death of David Hartley.

Eric Gay/AP/File

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A Mexican police commander investigating the death of American tourist David Hartley in Mexican waters was found murdered on Tuesday, authorities in the border state of Tamaulipas confirmed.

While authorities have not linked the two deaths, the killing of Commander Rolando Flores has fueled speculation that drug traffickers killed Mr. Hartley on Sept. 30 on Falcon Lake near Zapata, Texas. His wife, Tiffany, has said the couple was ambushed by gunmen in boats when the two went jet-skiing into the Mexican side of the border-straddling lake.

It would not be the first time that an investigator showed up dead after taking on a heated case against drug cartels. Intimidation of security and government officials is widespread in Mexico, with hundreds of people having lost their lives and a recent spate of brazen mayoral assassinations revealing the extent that cartels will go to keep public officials in line.

A 'hard-working' investigator

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