Trump wins pledges of 1,600 troops for Mexico border duty

04/09/2018 Chicago Tribune

DOT map of Us-mexico-borderThe Republican governors of three southwestern border states on Monday committed 1,600 National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border, giving President Donald Trump many of the troops he requested to fight what he’s called a crisis of migrant crossings and crime.

Arizona, New Mexico and Texas all made new pledges that add up to almost half of the up to 4,000 troops Trump requested. Some Guard members started arriving at the border as states and the federal government officials continued to discuss what they will do.

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Trump claimed his plan to put troops on the border is extraordinary. It was routine for Obama.

04/05/2018 The Washington Post

border patrolPresident Trump floated the idea Tuesday of deploying troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Until we can have a wall and proper security, we are going to be guarding our border with our military,” Trump said at the White House.

He continued: “That’s a big step, we really haven’t done that before, or certainly not very much before.”

That’s not exactly true. Long-standing concerns about the security of the southern border, cited by Trump, led to National Guard troops being deployed by the thousands under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

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Mattis says DACA recipients in military are “protected” even if program expires

02/08/2018 CBS News

military by thraxil
Photo by Flickr user Thraxil

Defense Secretary James Mattis said immigrant members of the military who are currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will continue to be protected — even if the program expires without congressional action next month.

Mattis, speaking to CBS News Pentagon correspondent David Martin and other reporters Thursday, said he has spoken with Homeland Security Secretary Kjirsten Nielsen and confirmed that anyone who has enlisted in the military and is waiting to report to boot camp, anyone on active duty or in the active reserves or anyone with an honorable discharge will not be deported. Two exceptions for that would be for anyone who has committed a serious felony or is the subject of a deportation order.

If Congress fails to act before March 5 — the deadline upon which the program is set to expire — “they’re protected,” Mattis said.

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Proposed Law in Mexico Could Expand Military Role in Drug War

11/25/16 InSight Crime

download-1A new law up for debate in Mexico‘s lower house proposes to expand and regulate the role of the military in the country’s decade-long drug war, a red flag to critics of the controversial militarized crackdown against cartels.

When presenting the new initiative, one of the representatives in favor of it — Martha Sofía Tamayo Morales — acknowledged that Mexico‘s armed forces have become “the main resource” in confronting organized crime and national security issues, but that “it’s efficiency has been limited due to the lack of an adequate legal framework…particularly during its peacetime role.”

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Mexican general gets 52 years for torturing, killing man

4/29/16 The Washington Post

San-Quentin-Prison-5.jpgMEXICO CITY — A judge has sentenced a general in the Mexican army to 52½ years in prison for ordering the torture of a suspect, then having his body burned, Mexico’s federal judiciary council said Thursday.

The sentence was among the longest ever against a senior army officer.

The council said the conviction came in a 2008 case in the northern state of Chihuahua. The judge also ordered the army to publicly apologize, clear the victim’s name and pay his family damages.

The judge in the case did not release the general’s name in the public case record. But the case number on the docket was the same as one linked in local media reports to Gen. Manuel Moreno Avina, who formerly commanded an army unit in the town of Ojinaga, across the border from Presidio, Texas.

Troops under the general’s command detained a suspect in a soldier’s death and tortured him for hours with electric shocks until he died. They then took the man’s body to a ranch and burned it.

The man was detained by soldiers just after midnight July 25, 2008. According to the council, the court found that soldiers “tied him up and watered him down in order to apply electric shocks on his body, in order to obtain information about the death of a soldier.”

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What’s behind Mexico’s military buying binge?

06/16/15 The Washington Post

Military Checkpoint in Juarez

MEXICO CITY–It started with 27 rail cars full of ammunition rolling down the tracks into Mexico.

That load of 30 million bullets was soon followed by fleets of Black Hawk helicopters and thousands of Humvees: in all more than $1 billion of American military equipment sold to Mexico within the past two years.

In a security relationship between Mexico and the United States often described as standoffish, foreign military sales have lately become a big exception. Admiral William E. Gortney, the commander of Northern Command, the U.S. military headquarters that deals with Mexico, testified to Congress earlier this year that Mexico’s buying binge represented a “100-fold increase from prior years.”

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Mexico’s Army Detains Eight Soldiers It Says Were Involved in June Killings

09/26/14 The Wall Street Journal

Army detentions Michoacan

Mexico’s army has detained eight soldiers it says were involved in the June shooting deaths of 22 civilians in a remote town in the nation’s southwest. In a statement late Thursday, Mexico’s Defense Ministry said the seven soldiers and one officer were in a military prison, but gave no details as to what role they had allegedly played in the killings. The defense ministry said the men had been detained “for breaking military discipline.” The detentions came after reports earlier this month in the Spanish-language version of Esquire magazine and the Associated Press—both citing an unnamed woman claiming to be a witness—saying 21 of the dead had been killed after surrendering to the soldiers.

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