Donald Trump announced Wednesday sending “armed soldiers” to the southern border after an incident with Mexican soldiers, whom he accuses of being accomplices of drug traffickers, a new verbal escalation in his open war against illegal immigration.
“Mexican soldiers recently armed our soldiers with our National Guard, presumably in a diversionary tactic for drug traffickers on the border … We immediately send armed soldiers to the border,” tweeted M Trump.
He accused Mexico of “doing practically nothing” to stop illegal migrants and send them back to their country of origin.
The US president did not say which event he was referring to, but the Pentagon confirmed to AFP in a statement an incident dating back to April 13 near Clint, Texas, where half a dozen Mexican soldiers pointed at two American soldiers who were in an unmarked vehicle, and disarmed one of them.
“The Mexican military believed that US soldiers were south of the border,” but the latter “were well on US soil,” said the US military in its statement.
“After a brief discussion between the soldiers of both countries, the Mexican military left the area,” Northland Command added, noting that his men had “followed all the appropriate protocols and procedures.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tried to calm the game by assuring that his country did not intend to “fight” with the United States.
“We will analyze this incident, we will take into account what he reports and we will act in accordance with the law as part of our sovereignty,” he said during his daily briefing.
- “Provocation” –
“We, we will not fall into any provocation,” added the Mexican president. “Most importantly, it is telling him (to Mr. Trump) that we will not fight with the US government (…) that we want a relationship of mutual respect and cooperation for development. “.
Donald Trump, who made the fight against illegal immigration one of the spearheads of his presidency, also mentioned on Twitter “a huge caravan of 20,000 people” moving to Mexico towards the United States .
“Mexico has reduced its size, but it continues to grow.Mexico must stop what remains or we will be forced to close this portion of the border and send the army.Coyotes and cartels have weapons! “, he warned.
His Mexican counterpart wants to curb the flow of migrants crossing Mexico to the north, in particular to ensure their safety.
For several weeks now, the Mexican authorities have been offering migrants who enter their country a one-year humanitarian visa restricted to the southern states, which is gradually replacing the humanitarian visas that until now allowed them to move freely in all areas of the country. the country.
As they move north, migrants holding this new visa are now facing expulsion from Mexico.
Mr. Trump hailed in another tweet “the great work” done by the US border police. “She has already arrested more than 418,000 illegal migrants this year, much more than last year” at the same time, he said.
Since October, several thousand caravan-bound migrants from Central America have crossed Mexico in hopes of entering the United States.
Some 2,900 active US military personnel are currently deployed along the southern border, as well as 2,000 reservists.
“There have always been armed soldiers responsible for the security of the troops,” a Pentagon official told AFP, without specifying the proportion of soldiers carrying a weapon in the US force, especially to strengthen the border. by barbed wire rolls or electronic monitoring systems.