After a dangerous showdown at the West Texas border between the long arm of the local law and drug-lugging interlopers donning military uniforms, Mexico has issued the expected denials of involvement by actual soldiers.
Mexican soldiers were not involved in a standoff with law enforcement officers from the United States on the Rio Grande near Sierra Blanca, Texas, on Monday, Mexican consul Juan Carlos Foncerrada Berumen said Tuesday.
Berumen said Mexican military uniforms may have been used by drug smugglers to confuse â€œpublic opinionâ€ and damage relations between the two countries.
Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West said his deputies along with officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety were on patrol at about 2 p.m. when they began chasing three vehicles they suspected were carrying illegal drugs.
The officers chased the vehicles to the Rio Grande when they came across several men who appeared to be soldiers â€œin a Humvee with what appeared to the officers as being 50-caliber machine guns,â€ officials said.
No shots were fired and no injuries were reported, but the lives of the law enforcement officers were threatened, officials said.
Officers, who responded to the scene, said when they arrived at the border the men dressed in military uniforms drew their guns and pointed the automatic weapons toward them.
Officials said one vehicle that was being chased was seized and that 1,400 pounds of marijuana was left behind by the driver, who fled across the river. Another vehicle made it back into Mexico. The third vehicle became stuck in the river and set ablaze by the men dressed as soldiers after people dressed in civilian clothing unloaded bundles of drugs from the vehicle.
In November, the Hudspeth sheriffâ€™s department reported a similar incident involving soldiers from Mexico. Whether the men on the Mexican side of the border were soldiers from the Mexican military remains in dispute.
The Mexican border is an ongoing, make that growing, problem for the U.S., with pockets of lawlessness spreading while most American politicians continue to treat the matter as a political hot potato. See also the following:
Please don’t think that my only concern about our southern border is crime, drug trafficking and illegal immigration. No, my major concern about the sieve that is our border is its possible exploitation by our radical Islamist enemies. I hope you haven’t forgotten this story, and have given thought to what may have already successfully penetrated into the U.S.
The border must be secured, and it may very well mean a very visible presence of our own military.