Sigi Gonzalez, the sheriff from Zapata County, Texas, visited Colorado yesterday to stand alongside Tiffany Hartley and talk about what he believes is happening on the U.S. border with Mexico. “This is literally a war,” Gonzalez says, adding that he can hear gunfire in Mexico from the U.S. side (via 9News).

He’s “99.9 percent sure” Hartley is telling the truth about her husband, David, being shot to death by drug pirates when the couple strayed onto the Mexican side of Falcon Lake from the Texas border in late September, writes The Associated Press.

Hartley, who grew up in Loveland and moved back to Colorado after Mexican officials failed to find the body of her husband, says she now wants to bring attention to the violence on the border. She points out that the day her husband was shot, a young boy was also slain, in Brownsville, Texas, by drug cartel members, but the boy’s family won’t speak out because they are afraid. “I can speak out,” Hartley says (via The Denver Post). “I can tell America what is going on down there. We need to stop closing our eyes and burying our head in the sand—otherwise they’re going to take over our country, and we’re going to be living in fear just like they are in Mexico right now.”

Just this weekend, at least 14 people (including young teenagers) were killed in Juarez, notes The New York Times, which also reports in a separate article that 13 were slain Sunday in Tijuana. Both cities are home to major border crossings.