Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff downplayed reports by the U.S. Border Patrol of more than 200 incursions by the Mexican military over the last 10 years, calling them "scare tactics."
While acknowledging the Border Patrol reports of crossings by uniformed troops, Chertoff told reporters in Washington yesterday he believes many of the incursions could have been innocent mistakes, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario, Calif.
The Mexican Government denies everything.
Mexican officials have said their military is forbidden from traveling within three miles of the border, though U.S. border residents repeatedly have spotted mobile patrols of Mexican military units traversing roads that run directly parallel to the international boundary. Mexico says the armed men crossing into the U.S. are paramilitary forces loyal to drug-smuggling cartels.