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FOR BREAKING EL PASO NEWS
By Michael Webster
Jan 10, 2008 6:00 AM PST
Judicial Watch has released a federal document which reveals that there were dozens of armed incursions by Mexican soldiers and police into the United States during 2006. Mexican Army Crossing Border, Again! watch!
The Washington-based organization which is known for its investigating and prosecuting government corruption cases around the country says they have proof and it documents 29 confirmed incidents along the U.S.-Mexican border involving armed Mexican military and Mexican law enforcement. To read the current report, click here
"These documents not only show the dangerous and chaotic situation at the Mexican border, but also the complicity of some Mexican government agents in violating U.S. law," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
"The U.S. government must begin to take these incidents more seriously, publicize them and take measures to bring the crisis at our border under control," he said.
The report documents incidents such as this one at the Fort Hancock Station in El Paso as reported in the El Paso and Laguna Journal.
"[Troopers] attempted to apprehend three vehicles believed to be smuggling contraband on I-10 … As the vehicles approached the border, [troopers] stated that a Mexican Military Humvee armed with a .50 caliber weapon and several soldiers were seen assisting smugglers return to Mexico … Officers then noticed several armed subjects dressed in fatigue type clothing unload the contraband into the Humvee. These subjects set fire to the stalled vehicle before leaving the area."
Judicial Watch noted that of the 29 documented instances, 17 involved armed Mexican government agents.
It's not as though the situations are new, but Judicial Watch spokeswoman Jill Farrell said it appears the U.S. government's policy on such cases is to count them and file the paperwork.
The document also states that between 1996 and September 30, 2006, there were 253 confirmed incursions into the United States by Mexican government personnel. The government has documented shots fired on both sides of the border, unmarked helicopters invading U.S. airspace, drug smuggling and actual confrontations between U.S. Border Patrol agents and armed members of the Mexican military.
One of them happened near Brownsville "As the boat proceeded to go down river towards the scene, the [Border Patrol] Agent on board advised via radio that several Mexican soldiers were pointing their rifles in his direction. The agent decided for his safety and the safety of the crew to turn back, but advised that the soldiers were still aiming at them."
Another case found a "Mexican Military boat" that was "providingsecurity and escort for the two others that were later found to be transporting 2,716.53 pounds of marijuana."
"We've had armed showdowns with the Mexican army," said a border agent who spoke on condition of anonymity. "These aren't just ex-military guys. These are Mexican army officials assisting drug smugglers." In one incident, more than 16 Mexican soldiers were arrested by border agents in a small town west of El Paso, in Santa Teresa, N.M., after Mexican soldiers fired on the agents, said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council. None of the agents was injured in the gun battle, and U.S. State Department officials forced the U.S. Border Patrol agents to release the soldiers and return them to Mexico with their weapons, Bonner added. "If (Mexico) is going to put military across our border to threaten our guys, and if their own government can't control it, then we should be treating this as an act of war," he said.
"It seems as if, once again, the government is failing to secure our border," Farrell said.
Farrell told the press that the government needs to take such situations seriously, and make sure the public knows. Her group, which obtained the federal reports through a Freedom of Information Act procedure, believes there are some real concerns about the border crisis, she said.
"You would think that the State Department or DHS [Department of Homeland Security] would be involved," she said.
Revealingly, the U.S. government report notes that many of the incursions were both "armed" and "intentional" and cited one incident in a location where construction of a security fence was incomplete.
In another case near Yuma, two uniformed Mexican police officers advanced onto U.S. soil and spent some time there "before walking back south into Mexico."
Previous government documents obtained and released by Judicial Watch note that such "incursions" have been documented in sectors including San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, Columbus, Mafa, Laredo and McAllen.
When contacted by the Journal White House officials would not
comment on the incursions or specific's and referred questions to
officials at the Department of Homeland Security.
The Journal family of newspapers including the El Paso And Laguna Journals have reported extensively on these incursions. See related articles:
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