Thursday, 27 January 2011

American Missionary Murdered in Mexico Near Border

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On Wednesday morning, January 26, around 11:30, 59-year-old Nancy Davis, an American missionary, was shot by armed gunmen firing from a pick-up truck in a cutthroat region of northern Mexico near the Texas border. Borderland Beat, Jan. 26 is asking that anyone having information about this murder to contact the Pharr (Texas) Crimestoppers. Pharr police have been in contact with Mexican authorities.

Mrs. Davis was shot in the head. She was then driven to Reynosa on the international border by her husband, Sam. The shooting occurred in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas near San Fernando, about 70 miles south of the U.S. border. She was pronounced dead at a Texas hospital about 2:00 p.m. in McAllen.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Texas authorities believe the couple may have been targeted because their expensive pickup truck, a 2008 Chevrolet is a type “coveted by criminal organizations in Mexico.”

Pharr Police Chief Ruben Villescas said today that Mrs. Davis was struck by a bullet fired through the pickup’s back window, and that damage to the truck suggests another vehicle tried to run them off the road.

According to Pharr police, Mr. Davis told them that gunmen in a pickup tried to pull them over, and when the couple tried to flee the pursuers opened fire. Mr. Davis then drove at top speed to the international bridge for help. 

Merton Rundell, a friend of the couple, told the Chronicle that the Davises regularly traveled to Mexico, spending 80-90 percent of their time there, but that they kept a house near McAllen, Texas. The Davises founded the Methodist Gospel Proclaimers Missionary Association in Weslaco, Texas, Rundell said,

She was 150 percent involved in the mission work. They were a team, a dedicated team. Most of their time was spent establishing churches in areas south of Monterrey. They did some teaching, did some evangelistic work. But most of their labors were directly involved in establishing churches in different parts of Mexico.

This is not the only case of an American murdered in Mexico. Last October, David Hartley was shot and killed in an ambush on Falcon Lake, and his body has never been recovered. Falcon Lake straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, it's Mexican portion also in Tamaulipas.

And last August, 72 migrants were massacred in the same region, according to The New American on Aug. 27.

Then in September, the U.S. State Department warned citizens against traveling between Monterrey, in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon and the State of Tamaulipas, where Mrs. Davis was murdered. Both states are bordered on the north by Texas, and are the site of a bloody, ongoing cartel war.

The Monitor, Jan. 27 carried a statement issued by the U.S. Consulate this morning:

We wish to express our deepest condolences to the Davis family and condemn this crime in the strongest possible terms. We are in regular contact with Mexican authorities and will assist and support them in all appropriate ways to ensure that those responsible for this crime are brought to justice

Photo: A prayer card handed out by Sam and Nancy Davis, missionaries working in Mexico: AP Images