Eric Lach

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily,, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at

Articles by Eric

The Texas sheriff working most closely on the "lake pirates" shooting incident told TPM Thursday that reports over the weekend of suspects in the case may have been distributed by drug cartels. Reports from both sides of the border about the case have conflicted often, and Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez himself has been at the center of some of the confusion. But in an interview with TPM Thursday, he said his office had spoken with Mexican authorities, who told him they had not given information about suspects to the media.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about the "lake pirates" shooting in an interview aired on Good Morning America this morning. The family of David Hartley, the man reportedly shot while jet skiing on the Mexican side of a border-straddling lake, has publicly called for more federal involvement in the search and investigation. In media appearances, Hartley's mother has appealed to Clinton directly. Clinton said the State Department is helping, and that the U.S. government "is supporting local law enforcement, supporting the authorities on the border. Doing everything that we know to do to try to assist in helping to find the body and helping to find the perpetrators."

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A new report by the intelligence company STRATFOR offers a possible explanation for the mystery surrounding the "lake pirates" shooting. Unnamed sources tell STRATFOR the incident "may have been a case of mistaken identity."

Two weeks ago, David Hartley and his wife, Tiffany, were jet skiing and taking photographs on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. Tiffany later said that she and David were approached by people in three boats, and attacked. The couple was reportedly fired at, and David was shot in the head. Tiffany said she was unable to retrieve his body from the water, and then had to flee for her own safety. Since the incident occurred on the Mexican side of the lake, Mexican authorities have been leading the investigation and search, while Tiffany Hartley and David's family have been very visible in the media telling the story of the shooting and calling for a stepped-up search effort. Neither David Hartley nor his jet ski has yet been found. The entire case has been clouded by conflicting reports and the sheer number of authorities involved on different levels from both sides of the border. Yesterday, the severed head of the investigation's supervisor, Tamaulipas State Police Commandant Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, was found by Mexican authorities.

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1||October 13, 2010: Thirty-three Chilean miners are being rescued today after spending more than two months trapped underground. The amazing rescue efforts have cost millions of dollars, and involved experts from dozens of countries. Even NASA has lent a hand. Each roundtrip of the rescue capsule bringing the miners back to the surface has taken about an hour. || Chilean Government/Hugo Infante/UPI/Newscom&&

2||Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, right, greets Mario Sepulveda, the second rescued miner. || Chine Nouvelle/SIPA/Newscom&&

3||The miners were stuck more than a half-mile underground. They received glucose, hydration and medicine in late August. At the time, the miners didn't know their rescue could still be months away. || imago stock&people/Newscom&&

4|| ||Chilean Government/Hugo Infante/UPI/Newscom&&

5|| ||AFP/Newscom&&

6|| ||Staff/MCT/Newscom&&

7||In a picture taken in early September, Chilean Health Minister Jaime Manalich talks with the trapped miners in a video conference.||Handout/ Ministry of Minning/dpa/picture-alliance/dpa/Newscom&&

8||One of the drills used to try and create a 702-meter hole to reach the trapped miners.||ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

9||Workers test the rescue capsule being used to transport the miners to the surface.||Pool/Xinhua/Photoshot/Newscom&&

10||A rescue worker holds a pair of sunglasses prepared to protect the miners' eyes after they reemerged from below ground after so long.||Marcelo Hernandez/picture-alliance/dpa/Newscom&&

11||During their time below, the miners used a video feed to communicate with rescue workers, government officials and family members above ground.||Moscia Lorenzo/Abaca/Newscom&&

12|| ||Moscia Lorenzo/Abaca/Newscom&&

13|| ||Moscia Lorenzo/Abaca/Newscom&&

14|| ||Moscia Lorenzo/Abaca/Newscom&&

15||More than 2,000 family members and workers set up residence at Camp Hope to wait anxiously for the trapped miners' rescue.||UPI/Sebastian Padilla&&

16||On August 22, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera holds up a note from the miners, reading ''We are fine in the shelter, the 33 of us.'' ||ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

17||As the days turned to weeks and then months, family members held candlelight vigils, prayed and waited anxiously for their loved ones to be rescued from the mine. ||SEBSTIAN PADILLA/UPI/Newscom&&

18|| ||Marcelo Hernandez/picture-alliance/dpa/Newscom&&

19||Thousands awaited the rescue effort in Chile. || Marcelo Hernandez/picture-alliance/dpa/Newscom&&

20|| ||JORGE MATTA/UPI/Newscom&&

21||As the rescue operations continued Wednesday, the celebrations of loved ones reunited also continued.||ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

22|| ||De la Maza Jose Manuel/Abaca/Newscom&&

23|| ||ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

24|| ||ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

25|| ||imago stock&people/Newscom&&

Mexican authorities are confirming that the severed head of the supervisor in the "lake pirates" shooting investigation was discovered today, the McAllen, Texas Monitor reports.

David Hartley's wife, Tiffany Hartley, says that she and David were jet skiing on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake two weeks ago, when they were attacked by people in three boats. She says David was shot in the head, and that she was unable to rescue him before fleeing for safety. Since the incident, she has appeared on national media, pleading for a stepped-up search effort. Neither David Hartley nor his jet ski have yet been found. Because the incident occurred on the Mexican side of the border-straddling lake, Mexican authorities have been leading the search and investigation.

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In what is unarguably the most explosive interview in the infancy of The Last Word, Republican Rep. Ron Paul had a logisitical on-air disagreement with host Lawrence O'Donnell that, while not the centerpiece of the discussion on the Tea Party, certainly colored the rest of the debate an ugly shade of contentious and uncomfortable that recalled his son Rand's debate with Rachel Maddow.

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