The Washington Times reports that members of the Mexican military crossed into Arizona on Sunday and held a U.S. Border Patrol agent at gunpoint before retreating to Mexico when U.S. reinforcements arrived. According to the National Border Patrol Council Local 2544, a union chapter representing Border Patrol agents, this kind of thing is a regular occurrence on our southern border:
Unfortunately, this sort of behavior by Mexican military personnel has been going on for years. They are never held accountable, and the United States government will undoubtedly brush this off as another case of “Oh well, they didn’t know they were in the United States.” A few years ago the Mexican military went a step further and put a .50 calibre rifle round through the rear window of a Border Patrol agent’s patrol vehicle south of Ajo. Nothing was ever done. Nobody was ever held accountable.
In other times, this kind of behavior—especially coupled with propensity of Mexican military personnel to assist in drug smuggling and border crossings by illegal immigrants—would be considered an act of war. I certainly don’t think that we should go to war with Mexico over border incursions in the middle of the desert, but we should certainly send some kind of formal, stern message to our neighbor to the south.
Mexican soldiers have no right to enter the United States, and even if they do so unintentionally (which is possible in the desert) they’d better make damn sure they know what country they’re in before holding anybody at gunpoint. The same goes for U.S. soldiers who might unintentionally cross into Mexico. Perhaps both countries should invest in some TomToms before we end up in the middle of a serious international incident.