Mexican troops detained, disarmed American soldiers on US side of the border

A U.S. National Guardsman at the border.

The U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) said in a statement that half-a-dozen armed Mexican troops detained and disarmed two U.S. soldiers on the American side of the border this month.

During the April 13 incident, Mexican soldiers pointed their rifles at the Americans and took a pistol from one of the U.S. soldiers and placed it in the U.S. vehicle.

Authorities speaking with CNN said that the US soldiers allowed the weapon to be taken “in an attempt to deescalate a potential volatile situation.”
“Throughout the incident, the US soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols,” the USNORTHCOM statement said.

The USNORTHCOM statement said, “On April 13, 2019, at approximately 2 p.m. CDT, five to six Mexican military personnel questioned two U.S. Army soldiers who were conducting border support operations in an unmarked (Customs and Border Protection) vehicle near the southwest border in the vicinity of Clint, Texas. The US soldiers were appropriately in US territory.”

The two U.S. troops were on the south side of the security perimeter but north of the Rio Grande.  So they in the U.S.

Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security officials subsequently demanded an explanation from the Mexican government. “An inquiry by CBP and DOD [Department of Defense] revealed that the Mexican military members believed that the US Army soldiers were south of the border,” the statement said. “Though they were south of the border fence, U.S. soldiers remained in U.S. territory, north of the actual border.”

In the CNN interview, officials said the river in that area consists of brush-filled and dried-out riverbed. It’s “very easy” to become confused about what side of the border people are on.

It was reported that one of the American soldiers spoke some Spanish and was able to communicate the situation to the Mexican patrol. The groups discussed the incident and agreed to try to de-conflict similar misunderstandings in the future, the officials said.

“An inquiry by (Customs and Border Patrol) and (the Department of Defense) revealed that the Mexican military members believed that the US Army soldiers were south of the border,” reads the USNORTHCOM statement, while emphasizing that the US troops were north of the border.

The statement said, “Though they were south of the border fence, US soldiers remained in US territory, north of the actual border. After a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area.”

A NEWSWEEK report added some detail:

“Two U.S. Army soldiers sat in an unmarked Chevrolet Tahoe owned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the west side of an El Paso County, Texas, Colonia known as Las Pampas.

… the Army sergeant and private had set up a hasty observation post north of the Rio Grande River, but south of the border fence in U.S. territory. The soldiers were members of B Battery, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

… the soldiers observed five to six individuals dressed in green pixelated military camouflage uniforms and carrying weapons, which appeared to be FX-05 Xiuhcoatl, an assault rifle designed and built for the Mexican armed forces.

The armed men swiftly approached the U.S. service members, crossing over from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande River into U.S. territory, ordering the soldiers out of their vehicle at gunpoint.

 

 

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