A group of civilian volunteer U.S.-Mexico border watchers say they witnessed an incursion into the U.S. by 22 armed Mexican militiamen – and photographed the encounter with the paramilitary patrol.
4 members of 22-man squad of soldiers near Mexican border (Tombstone Tumbleweed)
Chris Simcox, editor and publisher of the Tombstone, Arizona, Tumbleweed and founder of Civil Homeland Defense, a group that attempts to aid the Border Patrol nab illegal aliens, said the confrontation occurred the morning of Saturday, Jan. 24. Simcox, accompanied by a photographer and a video journalist, says the trio ran into a “squad” of armed Mexicans in olive drab uniforms in two military-type vehicles.
Simcox said his group conversed with the group.
“We could see the men run to what was apparently the leader of the squad where they conversed for a few seconds,” he recounts. “A moment later 10 of the men jumped into one of the troop transport vehicles and drove down the hill in our direction. They stopped directly in front of us on the dirt road that parallels the border fence on the Mexican side.”
He said four men with rifles, M-16s and FALs, jumped from the truck and approached them on the fence.
3 armed men run up hill after being caught illegally entering U.S. on Jan. 24 (Tombstone Tumbleweed)
“The cameras were rolling – on both sides,” he said. “As the men approached, one of them was taking photographs of us. The leader approached, I said, ‘Hola, como estas; buenos dias.’ He asked immediately if we were immigration. I told him no. He then told us in Spanish it was prohibited for us to film them. We told him we were media and we had the right to film. He became a bit agitated at that point and asked for more specifics about who we were and why we were here. I asked him the same question. He told us they were out here protecting the border – just doing their job. We asked if they were military, they did not respond. The leader seemed perplexed about who we were and again asked what business we had in the area. We again replied we were journalists covering the illegal immigration story. The leader again said we should not be in this area.”
Simcox said none of the uniforms the men were wearing had patches, names or insignias of any kind that would identify them as official members of Mexican police or military forces.
Simcox’s group, the Civil Homeland Defense, describes itself as a large “neighborhood watch” organization, alerting the Border Patrol to its observations.
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