Mexican Soldiers Enter State, Hold Border Agent at Gunpoint

Sean Holstege, Arizona Republic, August 7, 2008

Four Mexican army soldiers entered southern Arizona and pointed their rifles at a U.S. Border Patrol agent early this week, the Border Patrol said.

The incident Sunday was the Mexican military’s 43rd incursion across the U.S. border since October, the agency said. {snip}

{snip} The incident took place just north of the border in sight of the new border fence.

The soldiers held their weapons on the agent for several minutes until he identified himself in Spanish, whereupon they lowered their guns and walked back across a gap in the fence, Scioli said.

In Washington, D.C., State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said the encounter “stemmed from a momentary misunderstanding as to the exact location of the U.S.-Mexican border.”

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The city of Ciudad Acuna, across the border from Del Rio, Texas, said Friday that it fined four U.S. residents for carrying extra diesel and would impound their cars until they pay. The fines equal 70 percent of the value of the diesel confiscated.

U.S. drivers can fill up their own vehicles, but carrying extra fuel containers back across the border violates customs regulations and possibly safety rules, a report from the city said.

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Mexican filling stations near the U.S. border have seen an increase in American drivers who cross over to fill up. Mexican truckers and drivers complain the run on fuel is causing temporary shortages and longer lines for them.

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