There was a time, not so long ago, when one of the pleasures of living in the Rio Grande Valley was the excellent fishing opportunities in the Laguna Madre Bay, The Gulf of Mexico, as well as fishing from the from one of the network of irrigation canals, drainage canals, resacas and other bodies of water that line the Rio Grande Valley back roads. Scientifically The Rio Grande Valley is the Rio Grande Delta, but that is a name that has not caught on.
There was no better way to spend a peaceful afternoon than fishing along a canal bank. The game warden might drop by, but back in the day, the fines weren’t so outrageous and the laws were less complex. Still, your life wasn’t in danger.
Now there is a change in the air, border banditry is back. Robbery and murder have come to the countryside. Not as much perhaps as in the days of border banditry of the early 1900’s, when large gangs, even para-military units would raid the countryside from Mexico, but still with the general collapse of law and order in the border states of Mexico, and the mass increase of criminal aliens in this country, from whatever reasons (I don’t want to get into all the reasons now and engage partisan politics into this) there has been an increase…A substantial increase.
Another tragedy has been added, the body count has gone up by one. An off-duty Border Patrol Agent, Javier Vega Jr. was murdered near the Willacy County and Cameron County Line. His father was severely wounded. Our heart felt sympathies go out to the family. The grand parents, the son and three of his children were peacefully fishing along the main drainage canal that is near the county line near the small un-incorporated town of Santa Monica that is east of Lyford and Sebastian. The suspects were soon captured in Sebastian, a few miles away.
The official story here, according to Willacy County Sherriff Larry Spence, is that this was a simple armed robbery that escalated into a shoot out. Perhaps…It’s early in the investigation still. There are questions and issues.
1. Did the border patrol agent go for his gun, or did the assailants merely see it and open fire. From what is known of cartel behavior, merely seeing a weapon on the person of what they were assuming was a civilian would be enough for them to open fire.
2. If the Border Patrol Agent did take a chance on drawing on the two suspects, when they had the drop on him, was it because he knew that he was marked as a target? Did he know his assailants? Was there a hit on him? Most likely he feared that surrendering would not just lead to the loss of a truck and his valuables, but because of the fact that he was part of the hated “Migra” or immigration, surrender would lead to the death of his entire family. By shooting it out with the Illegals he may very well have saved his parents and his three children.
3. While the Willacy Country Sherriff’s Office has been quick to call this a homicide in the course of armed robbery, some of their actions point in another direction. The Sherriff elected to have a non-public arraignment of the suspects held at the county jail. Not even the victims family were allowed to attend. Are the security precautions put in place out of an excess of caution, or are they based on information that has not been released to the public.
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