US

Trump Warns Mexico: ‘Better Not’ Detain and Disarm US Troops Again

By Zachary Stieber

President Donald Trump reacted to Mexican soldiers disarming American soldiers despite the Americans being on the United States side of the border.

“Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again!” Trump said on Twitter on April 24.

“We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!” he added.

Two American soldiers were confronted by five or six Mexican soldiers on April 13 at approximately 2 p.m. after spotting the Americans inside an unmarked vehicle near the southwest border around Clint, Texas.

“The U.S. soldiers were appropriately in U.S. territory” during the encounter, U.S. Northern Command said in a statement.

The Mexicans pointed their weapons, which appeared to be assault rifles, at the American troops and removed one of the soldier’s weapons.

Northern Command said that the soldier allowed the weapon to be taken “in an attempt to de-escalate a potential volatile situation.”

“Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols,” Northern Command said.

The U.S. military installs concertina wire
The U.S. military installs concertina wire on the existing levee wall behind Granjeno, Hidalgo County, Texas, just north of the U.S.–Mexico border on Nov. 7, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Border Patrol agents and Texas State Troopers line the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Feb. 7, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

One of the Americans spoke Spanish to the Mexicans and explained that they were lawfully on the American side of the border despite the area being south of the border fence. The Mexican soldiers eventually returned the weapon.

A senior defense official from the Northern Command told the Washington Examiner that the situation is believed to be the first of its kind. “This is the first incident that we’re aware of that the two militaries came together,” the official said.

The incident has sparked a Pentagon investigation, which the official said “will help us modify any instructions that we’re giving the troops” about how to deal with such a situation. According to the official, no official protocol exists for how to navigate a situation like the one that happened but soldiers are trained generally to “de-escalate” situations and followed that protocol.

“That area of the border is kind of confusing,” a second Northern Command official told the Examiner. “It may have been difficult for them [Mexican forces] to know if they didn’t know the area as well or were new or something. I don’t think—it definitely wasn’t trying to overtake the U.S.”

Trump also said that a large caravan of approximately 20,000 people has entered Mexico and is heading towards the United States.

“It has been reduced in size by Mexico but is still coming,” he said in another missive on Twitter.

“Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military. The Coyotes & Cartels have weapons!”