Jon E. Dougherty is a Missouri-based political science major, author, writer and columnist. Follow him on Twitter.
For the second time this year, Mexican army soldiers have crossed
into the United States and fired upon U.S. Border Patrol agents, leaving
Border Patrol union members furious and demanding federal intervention.
According to L. Keith Weeks, vice president of the National Border
Patrol Union Local 1613 in San Diego, Calif., two border patrolmen who
had just disembarked from a “clearly marked Border Patrol helicopter”
immediately came under fire from a 10-man unit of what appeared to be
soldiers with the Mexican army.
In a statement, Weeks said the incident occurred Oct. 24 in Copper
Canyon, about eight miles east of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Weeks
confirmed the contents of the statement to WorldNetDaily.
“It happened,” he said yesterday. “These agents departed their
helicopter and were immediately fired upon.”
Weeks said about eight shots were fired. The Mexican military unit
was dressed in military-style uniforms with tactical vests and carried
“high-powered military rifles with bayonets,” he said.
As the agents began to receive fire, they took cover in thick brush
nearby. Weeks said they shouted in Spanish that they were U.S. Border
Patrol agents, but “were nonetheless pursued by some of the soldiers,”
who crossed into the United States by entering through a well-maintained
As the Mexican soldiers came after the border agents, other soldiers
set up a pair of sniper positions — one inside Mexico and the other
inside the U.S., “pointing their weapons in the direction of the
[agents],” said Weeks.
The soldiers, in Spanish, ordered the agents out of the brush, but
they refused. Instead, the agents re-identified themselves and ordered
the soldiers to return to Mexico.
“Once other Border Patrol agents neared the scene,” Weeks said, “the
soldiers retreated to Mexico and drove off in a minivan.”
Homemade road sign outside of Douglas, Ariz., erected by local
ranchers protesting what they perceive as lax federal border policies.
Last week’s incident marks the second time in less than seven months
that armed Mexican army units have crossed into U.S. territory and fired
Border Patrol union officials said the Mexicans chased the Americans over a mile onto U.S. soil. The Humvees held about 16 “heavily armed” soldiers.
The lead Mexican army vehicle contained nine soldiers “armed with seven automatic assault rifles, one submachine gun and two .45 caliber pistols,” and was eventually apprehended by other Border Patrol units. The second Humvee, however, “pursued a Border Patrol agent on horseback and fired a shot at him. The soldiers then disembarked their vehicle, fired upon one more Border Patrol agent and chased another agent before fleeing [back] to Mexico in their vehicle.”
Union officials said the members of the lead Mexican army vehicle were debriefed and eventually allowed to return to Mexico with their arms and vehicle.
At that time, Mariela Melero, regional spokesperson for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, told WorldNetDaily that high-level contacts with the Mexican government regarding the incident were in the works, but had no specifics.
Border Patrol officials in March confirmed that the Juarez cartel, one of Mexico’s biggest drug gangs, has placed a bounty of $200,000 on U.S. lawmen.