POSTED: Friday, September 2, 2011 - 4:53pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 12:13pm
EL PASO - A national watchdog group says the Mexican Government incursion that happened just a few miles outside of El Paso could be a major security threat to the nation.
The Zaragoza Bridge was very active on Thursday, just hours after hunters reported being shot at and robbed by Mexican gunmen who crossed the river into the United States. The Border Patrol says those gunmen were Mexican Federal Police Agents, but they said the shooting and robbery were not part of their initial investigation.
"This is a crisis situation on the border and unless a citizen seems to run into it as the hunters did, the government is not really going to tell you about it," Tom Fitton said.
Fitton is the President of Judicial Watch, a national watchdog group in Washington DC. His organization won a fight with the government to gain access to information on border incursions and even obtained video of a border incursion that happened in El Paso in 2008. Fitton says, the data proves border incursions are happening at an alarming rate.
"We were shocked to find that the incidents involved shots fired on both sides of the border, unmarked helicopters invading U.S. airspace, drug smuggling and confrontations between U.S. Border Patrol Agents and armed members of the Mexican Military," he said.
Fitton told us the data also shows some of the incursions weren't accidents.
"The most recent incident, as reported by your station there, shows that it was not only purposeful, but criminal in the sense that they came over and seemingly robbed folks," he said.
It's a problem Fitton says is rising and could be dangerous to border security if ignored by Washington.
"What it means, and it shows, is the border is obviously un-secure and unsafe. With the recent restrictions regarding hunting on the border you have to wonder, who controls our territory? The Mexican Government or the U.S. Government?."
Border Patrol hasn't released any more information on what exactly happened. They did tell us that Border Patrol Agents witnessed Mexican Police Agents crossing back into Mexico, and several agencies are now investigating. Today the International Boundary and Water Commission announced that Border Patrol is only allowing hunters through the gates during daylight hours because of what happened.