Magazine article Insight on the News

U.S.-Mexican Border Is Heating Up

Magazine article Insight on the News

U.S.-Mexican Border Is Heating Up

Article excerpt

Spring barely has sprung in much of the nation and temperatures still are relatively mild in the desert Southwest, but the long-term forecast for the U.S.-Mexican border region, as another summer looms, is shaping up as hot -- very hot! Hair-trigger tensions in the besieged borderlands led to at least two shooting incidents in recent weeks and to several other developments that strongly suggest a long, hot summer is ahead.

For reasons still murky, Mexican army soldiers in two humvees crashed through the border fence near Sunland Park, Texas, in March, and opened fire on U.S. border agents, thankfully missing their marks. It was the 45th such incursion since 1995, according to the State Department; the first in which gunfire erupted other estimates put the figure as high as 63. The standoff, well inside U.S. territory, was extremely tense, according to Paul Berg, Border Patrol chief at Del Rio, Texas. Two shots were fired and weapons were pointed on both sides.

So indistinct is the border in some places that the soldiers may have believed they still were in Mexico, according to some accounts, and in pursuit of drag smugglers. The standoff finally was defused by Sunland Park police, whose appearance seemed to convince soldiers in one humvee that they weren't in the Sonora province anymore, at which time they surrendered their weapons. …

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