Two US Army soldiers were sitting in an unidentified Chevrolet Tahoe owned by US Customs and Border Protection, on the west side of a county of El Paso, Texas, in Colonia , called Las Pampas.
It was April 13, and the army sergeant and soldier had set up a hasty observation post north of the Rio Grande River, but south of the border fence in US territory. The soldiers were members of Battery B of the 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, based at the Lewis-McChord Joint Base in Washington.
The unit, which is part of the southwestern border mission, chaired by President Donald Trump in October 2018, has recently seen its extended deployment until September.
At around 2:00 pm local time, the soldiers observed five to six people dressed in green colored pixelated military camouflage uniforms and carrying weapons, which appeared to be FX-05 Xiuhcoatl, an assault rifle designed and manufactured for the Mexican armed forces.
The gunmen quickly approached the American service, passing the Mexican side of the Rio Grande River to enter the United States, ordering the soldiers to exit their vehicles under threat of firearms.
What happened in the afternoon of April 13 near the small town of Clint, Texas, highlights the confusion between the geographical location of the barrier and the starting and ending point of the geographical boundary between the United States and Mexico.
In Texas, the border fence does not perfectly match the topography of the precise location of the US-Mexico border, which creates a buffer zone between the actual, often invisible, border and the fence.
In addition, although some parts of the Texas-Mexico border are closed, most of them are unrelated to various issues, including ongoing litigation, private property rights, treaty provisions and floodplains.
Newsweek got a copy of the serious incident report generated 30 minutes after Mexican military was briefly detained and kept under threat from an American military man after he believed that US Army soldiers were found on Mexican territory when in fact the Mexican army had passed without their knowledge on the American territory. The report was reviewed by Lieutenant-Colonel of the US Army Timothy D. Gatlin, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, then briefed by Lieutenant General of the US Army Jeffrey Buchanan, commander-in-chief of the North American Army.
US Army soldiers said the Mexican soldiers had been quick tactics on the unmarked CBP vehicle. Army soldiers did not have time to react enough to trigger a 911 emergency on their Nano Shout, a two-way GPS tracking device for mobile phones, which also serves as a backup beacon when soldiers need additional US military units.
Speaking in Spanish, Mexican soldiers ordered the sergeant and the soldier to go to the front of their vehicle, where they were "lightly searched," according to the incident report.
The sergeant's service pistol, the Beretta M9, was removed from his hip by the individuals and thrown inside the unmarked US government vehicle.
Members of the US Armed Forces stated that they did not see "any identifiable seal or symbol on the individual's vehicle" and that "they were unable to identify any patches or name tags on the individual's vehicle". uniform, with the exception of Mexican flags ".
NORAD Deputy Director of Public Affairs and US Northern Command John Cornelio said in a statement Newsweek On Friday, a joint investigation by US Customs and Border Protection and the US Department of Defense revealed that the gunmen were Mexican soldiers, who believed that US soldiers were south of the Mexican border.
"After a brief discussion between soldiers from both countries, the Mexican military left the region. US soldiers immediately contacted CBP, which responded quickly. Throughout the incident, US soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols, "the statement said.
US service members said they heard someone from the south yell "Vamonos" in Spanish. The Mexican military returned to their vehicle, described as "a dark blue Ford pickup truck with tactical support at the rear".
The Ford pickup truck left the area and headed west on the Mexican dike. Members of the US military service saw no identifiable seal or symbol on the dark blue pickup truck.
After the meeting, members of the service notified CBP by radio service. According to the report, CBP officers indicated where they were approximately 10 to 12 minutes after arrival.
Once there, CBP officers closely followed the footsteps of the Mexican military and determined that they had entered the United States approximately 30 meters north of the Rio Grande River, the report said. incident reporting a serious incident.
Members of the 1st Battalion of the 37th Field Artillery Regiment went on site to check the well-being of their soldiers.
Newsweek US Customs and Border Protection were informed of the April 13 incident, but no response was returned prior to publication.