Report: Soldiers allegedly hold Central American migrants at gunpoint, beat them and say ‘you can’t cross into U.S.’

Immigration

Army commander says men "not his soldiers" but rifle seen on video is type made for Mexican armed forces

Mount Cristo Rey is pictured through the US-Mexico border fence near downtown El Paso, Texas, Sunday, April 8, 2018.
The US states of Texas and Arizona announced plans to send National Guard troops to the southern border with Mexico after President Donald Trump ordered a thousands-strong deployment to combat drug trafficking and illegal immigration. / AFP PHOTO / Paul Ratje (Photo credit should read PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Men dressed like soldiers held a group of Central American migrants at gunpoint near Mount Cristo Rey before turning them over to Mexican immigration authorities, a newspaper reported.

One of the men wearing military fatigues allegedly put his boot on the neck of a migrant and told him, “now you’re going to run, (expletive deleted)?” El Diario reported. The alleged incident took place Thursday afternoon on the Mexican side of the mountain that straddles the border.

A Honduran national who was among the group of three men, two women and a 6-year-old boy told the newspaper the soldiers slapped and insulted the men and told them they could not allow them to cross into the United States.

The newspaper reported the local Army commander denied the men were his soldiers. But the rifle shown in a short video of the incident obtained by the newspaper shows a man pointing an FX-05 assault rifle at a group of people. The rifle, known as “The Fire Serpent,” was designed and manufactured for the Mexican army, according to trade publications.

Border Report on Monday morning sought information from Mexican authorities as well as the Human Rights Commission and the Migrant Assistance Center in Juarez and is awaiting a reply.

Last week, the Biden administration sent envoys to Mexico asking that country for cooperation in managing a major surge in migration from Central America to the U.S. that coincides with the change of administration at the White House.

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