Border Patrol agents stationed along the nation’s southwestern frontier increasingly are fearful of encountering armed and potentially hostile military units from Mexico.
Also, agents say, officers are hamstrung in their response, citing concerns the U.S. government is often too deferential to Mexican authorities.
“It’s like we’re having a battle on the border that no one speaks of,” one agent told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspaper in Ontario, Calif.
“The Border Patrol lives in constant fear of pleasing the consulate general of Mexico,” the agent continued. “It’s one of the things that’s most mystifying to line agents” because the U.S. is one of the most powerful countries in the world but appears to be more interested in accommodating Mexico City, the agent said.
Indeed, the confrontations have become so routine the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued written orders that agents carry with them regarding “what to do” if confronted by Mexican military units, many of which are in the employ of Mexico’s powerful drug cartels.
According to the “Military Incursion” cards, “Mexican military are trained to escape, evade and counter-ambush if it will affect their escape.” Therefore, the card says, Border Patrol agents should follow recommended procedures in case they encounter armed Mexican military units.
The paper said the cards also instruct agents to hide from Mexican military operating in their areas. Rather than engage in contact, agents are ordered to “Avoid it.”
One Arizona agent described the units to the paper, saying they “are active Mexican military that have sold out to the cartels.”
“We talk about cooperation with the Mexican government,” the agent continued, “but most of them seem to be on the take. The [Bush] administration, the DHS, they are very hushed about this.”
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., head of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, told WorldNetDaily in a 2002 interview he was concerned about a rising number of incursions occurring along the U.S. southwest border.
Noting that elements of the Mexican military were posing a threat to American agents and civilians along the border, he said, “We’re no safer today than we were on Sept. 12,” in reference to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Tancredo said he began making trips to the border because he became alarmed over increasing reports that border personnel were being shot at on a regular basis, as well as chased and targeted by “rogue elements” of the Mexican military. He said such units either were loyal to Mexican-based drug lords or operating outside the scope of their military mandate.
WND has reported that as early as November 2000, Mexican troops had fired on U.S. Border Patrol agents on American soil.
U.S. authorities also have known for some time that elements of Mexican military and law enforcement units have been corrupted by drug cartels.
“In actuality, law enforcement in Mexico is all too often part of the problem rather than part of the solution,” Anthony Placido, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s acting assistant administrator for intelligence, told a House panel earlier this year. “This is particularly true at the municipal and state levels of government.”