Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Mexico says it has deployed 15,000 forces in the north to halt US-bound migration
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 soldiers and National Guard in the north of the country to stem the flow of illegal immigration across the border into the United States, the head of the Mexican Army said on Monday.
Mexico has not traditionally used security forces to stop undocumented foreign citizens leaving the country for the United States, and photographs of militarized police catching Central American and Cuban women at the border in recent days have met with criticism.
Mexico is trying to curb a surge of migrants from third countries crossing its territory in order to reach the United States, under the threat of tariffs on its exports by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made tightening border security a priority.
Responding to weekend reports of heavy-handed interventions by the military, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the head of the Army, said soldiers were needed to back up migration officials in containment operations.
Alongside 6,500 members of the security forces sent to Mexico's southern border area with Guatemala, where many migrants enter, a larger contingent was in the north, he said.
"In the northern part of the country we have a total deployment of 14,000, almost 15,000 units between the National Guard and the Army," Sandoval told a regular news conference.
"If we left it completely in the hands of the National Institute of Migration it wouldn't be possible," he added. "That's why we're providing support, it's a strategy being pursued on both borders."
A new militarized police force formed from soldiers, marines and federal police, the National Guard is at the heart of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's plan to restore order in a country convulsed by record levels of violence.
The force is still taking shape, and due to be headed by a retired general under the aegis of the security ministry.
Reuters images taken on Friday showed National Guard members detaining Cuban and Central American women trying to illegally cross from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico into El Paso, Texas.
Former Mexican national security official Gustavo Mohar said Mexico's security forces had not been used this way before, describing the development as "sad."
Mohar blamed the change on Trump's threats to impose tariffs. The National Guard should ideally not be implementing migration policy, he argued, while acknowledging that Mexican migration authorities were overwhelmed.
Mexico on June 7 agreed to reduce significantly the number of migrants reaching the U.S. border within a period of 45 days.
If that fails, Lopez Obrador's government has said it will consider changing its laws to satisfy Trump's demand that Mexico become a buffer zone to stop migrants entering the United States.
Most of the people caught on the U.S.-Mexico border are from three Central American countries suffering from high levels of gang violence and poverty: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Trump has said he will impose initial tariffs of 5% on all Mexican goods if the migrant flow is not curbed. The tariff could eventually rise as high as 25%, he has said.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider
If you're in the market for a bunker in the southwest, you're in luck. A decommissioned missile complex is now on sale outside of Tucson for nearly $400,000. The complex was home to an armed Titan II missile for 24 years, before it was decommissioned in the 1980s.
The structure is listed with Grant Hampton at Realty Executives. Now, the home is back on the market, and these photos show what lies underground in Arizona.
The Marine Corps will investigate whether another Marine has ties to a white supremacist group after he allegedly made racist comments on neo Nazi message boards that have since been taken down, according to a Marine Corps official.
Vice News reporters Tess Owen and Tim Hume first reported on Nov. 8 that at least three people who posted on the new defunct Iron March message boards were service members, but their story did not include any of the troops' names.
Newsweek reporters James LaPorta and Asher Stockler were able to independently confirm the identity of one of those service members as an active-duty Marine: Lance Corporal Liam J. Collins, an 0311 Rifleman assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States knows the location of the third in command to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who killed himself last month during a U.S.-led raid.
"We have our eye on his third," Trump said during the question-and-answer session following a speech at the Economic Club of New York. "His third has got a lot of problems because we know where he is too."