Reacting to a call from U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza to “fully investigate” a military-style incursion into Texas in support of drug trafficker, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez suggested U.S. soldiers or criminals disguised as Mexican troops may have actually been responsible.
Luis Ernesto Derbez
“Members of the U.S. Army have helped protect people who were processing and transporting drugs,” Derbez told a news conference. “And just as that has happened … it is very probable that something like that could have happened, that in reality they (the uniformed men at the border) were members of some of their groups disguised as Mexican soldiers with Humvees.”
Texas law enforcement officials originally said Mexican soldiers were involved in Monday’s incident.
“There is a supposition here that this involved Mexican citizens, and that is absolutely incorrect,” Derbez said. “There would have to have been racial descriptions, and that would imply a certain element of racial discrimination on the part of the American sheriffs.”
Derbez said his diplomatic note to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would demand that U.S. officials tone down their comments on Mexico’s security and immigration problems, and would request quick results of an investigation into the December shooting of a Mexican migrant.
He complained that Garza should have made his complaints through diplomatic channels.
“We should not convert this, as (Garza) apparently did by publishing his article, into a public relations issue,” Derbez said, adding that Garza’s comments were “not only wrong, but also don’t correspond to reality.”
Border Patrol agents reportedly called for backup after seeing what they believed to be Mexican army troops with several mounted machine guns on the ground more than 200 yards inside the U.S. border – near Neely’s Crossing, about 50 miles east of El Paso.
A Cadillac Escalade reportedly stolen from El Paso was captured after the standoff, and U.S. officers found 1,477 pounds of marijuana inside.
The armed intruders set fire to a Humvee stuck in the river, apparently to destroy more evidence.
Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security reported 216 incursions by Mexican soldiers during the past 10 years.
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