© Reuters. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents escort detained Mexican soldiers after crossing the border and entering the US, at the Córdoba de las Americas International Border Bridge, in El Paso, Texas, USA, 25 September 2021. REUTERS / Stringer
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Fourteen Mexican soldiers were detained early Saturday for several hours by U.S. border agents after crossing into El Paso, Texas, from Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said. ) from the United States.
“Just after midnight today, CBP officers working at the international crossing of the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso noticed that two Mexican military vehicles were crossing the border and entering the United States,” CBP told Reuters in a statement. statement sent by email.
The 14 Mexican soldiers said they did not realize they had entered the United States and US border agents secured their weapons and equipment for “security and processing,” CBP said, adding that Mexican military leaders were contacted and arrived. to the port shortly after.
Thirteen of the 14 Mexican soldiers were prosecuted without incident, but one soldier was imposed a civil penalty after CBP officers discovered a quantity of marijuana for personal use in his possession.
The 14 soldiers, their equipment and vehicles were returned to Mexico before 5 a.m., CBP said.
Mexico’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Due to the incident, the border crossing was closed for approximately two hours, a witness to the events said.
“The CBP (agents) yelled at the soldiers to raise their hands and drop their weapons immediately,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified.
CBP agents searched the vehicles and then escorted the soldiers, who appeared to be handcuffed, according to the witness and photos of the situation seen by Reuters.
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