Comment(s)

On August 03, 2008, a Significant Incident Report (SIR) was generated from the Tucson Sector detailing an encounter with members of the Mexican military. The Mexican military personnel entered the United States and held a Border Patrol agent at gunpoint approximately 46 feet north of the international border west of Papago Farms. Papago Farms is located southwest of Tucson, Arizona.

The agent, who was patrolling in a marked Border Patrol vehicle, was held at gunpoint by four members of the Mexican military. The Mexican soldiers, who were armed with long arms, ordered the agent not to move and questioned him regarding his presence in the area. The agent identified himself as an agent and called for assistance. The agent was held at gunpoint for approximately four minutes until the arrival of additional agents on scene. At that point, the four Mexican soldiers crossed the border back into Mexico.

A short while later, two of the Mexican soldiers re-crossed the international boundary into the United States, and a standoff ensued which lasted an additional six minutes. When questioned regarding their presence in the area, one of the soldiers told agents that they were working narcotics interdiction operations and that they believed they were south of the International Boundary. The Mexican soldiers were shown the IWBC markers, the location of the permanent vehicle barriers, and the survey stakes delineating the construction corridor in the United States; however they denied that they were inside the U.S.

The incident is currently being investigated by OBP and contact has been made with officials of the Mexican military and diplomatic officials of the Government of Mexico.

Based on statistical data relayed from the Southwest Border Division, from October 01, 2006, through July 27, 2007, there were 17 incursions of foreign government officials into the United States between the Ports of Entry on the southwest border. This fiscal year through July 27, 2008, there have been 40 cross border incursions. These incursions include those by military units or another federal, state or local agency. This reflects a 135 percent increase.

Agents should remain vigilant and report any contact with the Mexican military to their respective chains of command.

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