The United States is "sickened" by the brutal drug cartel violence in Mexico, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said in slamming a recent attack on an American tourist in the US-Mexico border region.
"This is a terrible tragedy, and obviously, we are sickened by it, as we are with the spike in violence that has gone on in Mexico directed primarily against innocent Mexicans," Clinton told ABC News in an interview on Thursday.
"We have to do even more to try to stem this violence," she urged, noting that the discovery of the beheaded body of a Mexican official investigating the crime "shows what we're dealing with."
US citizen David Michael Hartley, 37, was shot by men from a boat on Falcon Lake last month as he jet skied with his wife on the border lake.
The Tamaulipas state government was still searching for Hartley, in coordination with US authorities, said prosecutor spokesman Ruben Dario Rios Lopez on Wednesday after a Mexican police commander investigating the disappearance was found dead.
Mexico's northeastern state of Tamaulipas, one of several neighboring Texas, has seen a spike in suspected drug-related attacks in recent months, blamed on a turf battle between the powerful Gulf gang and its former allies the Zetas.
"The absolute barbarity that we're seeing by criminals and terrorists in the world today should shock the conscience and require a concerted effort to defeat these violent, terrible actors that upset lives from Mexico to Africa to Afghanistan and beyond," Clinton said.
More than 28,000 people have died in Mexico in drug cartel-related violence since December 2006 when the government launched an offensive against the gangs with the deployment of 50,000 troops.