MEXICO CITY – Mexican marines patrolling a lake along the border with Texas discovered a drug gang camp on an island, provoking a gunbattle that left 13 people dead, the navy said Monday.
One marine and 12 suspected gunmen of the Zetas drug cartel were killed in the battle Sunday on Falcon Lake in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the navy said.
The navy said the gunmen opened fire first when the marines discovered the camp, which the gang is believed to have used as a launching point for smuggling marijuana into Texas by speedboat. Marines seized more than 20 guns after the shootout, including several assault rifles.
Falcon Lake, a dammed section of the Rio Grande, is where U.S. citizen David Hartley was presumably chased and gunned down by pirates Sept. 30. His body has not been found and Mexican investigators have reported no leads in the case.
His wife, Tiffany Hartley, told authorities she and her husband were using personal watercraft on Falcon Lake when they were approached by pirates who shot and killed her husband.