14 Mexican soldiers briefly detained in El Paso
Fourteen Mexican soldiers were detained for several hours on Saturday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents after crossing into the El Paso, Texas.
“Just after midnight today CBP officers working at the Bridge of the America’s international crossing in El Paso noted two Mexican military vehicles crossing the boundary and entering the U.S.,” CBP said in a statement provided to Reuters.
As the news service reported, the soldiers said they did not realize they had crossed the border. CBP secured their weapons and equipment for “safety and processing,” and Mexican military leadership was also contacted.
Due to the incident, the border was reportedly closed for two hours. One witness told Reuters that the soldiers were led away in handcuffs.
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 26, 2021
Though most of the soldiers were processed uneventfully, one was issued a civil penalty for having a personal-use amount of marijuana with him, according to Reuters.
All the soldiers and their belongings were reportedly returned to Mexico before 5 a.m. on Saturday morning.
The southern border has recently received international attention due to the large influx of Haitian migrants who crossed into the U.S. Thousands have since been returned to Haiti or traveled back to Mexico in order to avoid authorities.
Images and video of CBP agents riding on horseback and apparently using whips on the migrants resulted in international outcry.
“I can’t imagine the situation where that would be appropriate,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week when asked about the images.
The Department of Homeland Security has opened an investigation into the reported use of whips.