Border Patrol Agents Fired Upon By Mexican Choppers

Vivek Saxena

Border Patrol agents were fired upon by Mexican military helicopters that traveled across the border early Thursday morning, reports News 4 Tucson.

According to Art del Cueto, Border Patrol Tucson Sector union president, sometime between 12 am and 6 pm at least one helicopter unexpectedly crossed into U.S. territory, used lethal force against two U.S. Border Patrol agents, and then immediately returned back to Mexico. The astonishing incident happened on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation in southwestern Arizona. Thankfully, both Border Patrol agents were unharmed.

Almost immediately afterward, Mexican officials contacted U.S. authorities to sincerely apologize for the incident. And according to U.S. Border Patrol spokesperson Andy Adame, it turns out that the helicopter was manned by law enforcement agents who were on a "drug interdiction operation."

Craziness, right? However, it's not as surprising as you might think. A recent story in the Washington Times noted that Mexican law enforcement agents regularly "stray across the U.S. border." According to the Department of Homeland Security, over 500 have done exactly that within the past decade. Furthermore, it's commonplace for these agents to get into tiffs with United States Border Patrol agents.

Whether or not these agents have ever before fired upon Border Patrol agents is another story altogether. In fact, the last time a helicopter (which is more deadly than just armed men) crossed over was in January, 2013. KRGV reported that a chopper not only crossed over into an off-limits portion of a federal wildlife park in Texas, but also touched down there as well.

Here's the problem. The agents who cross over do not always do so for fair and equitable reasons. According to Congressional testimony reported by NBC back in 2006, there have been several instances between 1996 and today were corrupt Mexican military or police forces "crossed into the United States to provide cover for drug smugglers."

Furthermore, sometimes the agents are not even agents, but rather smugglers in disguise.

Take for instance the following example:

"On Jan. 23, a group of Texas deputy sheriffs, acting on a tip, intercepted a group of drug smugglers and were surprised to find what they believed to be Mexican soldiers with automatic weapons and a military vehicle providing armed security.

When confronted by the deputies, the drug smugglers raced back across the border while men in Mexican military uniforms, driving a Humvee, "took up a defensive position" that Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West described as a 'military maneuver.'"

When confronted by the deputies, the drug smugglers raced back across the border while men in Mexican military uniforms, driving a Humvee, "took up a defensive position" that Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West described as a 'military maneuver.'"

An investigation by the Mexican government later revealed that these men were not even part of any military forces. Scary stuff, right? And yet out Border Patrol agents deal with stuff like this on a frequent basis.

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