MEXICO CITY - U.S. and Mexican officials will review reports of an intrusion on Mexican soil by workers building U.S. border fences between Douglas, Ariz., and the Mexican border city of Agua Prieta, U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza said.
Garza, in a news statement released Thursday, stressed that the United States respects Mexican sovereignty and works to avoid intruding on its territory.
Mexican legislators said they had photos and video showing U.S. workers and equipment crossing about 10 yards into Mexico on Monday.
Garza said U.S. and Mexican officials would visit the site to ascertain what happened.
“The U.S. is sensitive to Mexican concerns,” the statement said, and “has the deepest respect for the integrity of the sovereignty of Mexican soil.”
Most Mexicans consider the border fences an insult, and their anger was heightened by photographs of U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security Michael Chertoff welding a section of border fence on Tuesday at another site on the Arizona border, just after he had visited Mexico.
Garza stressed that Chertoff had been photographed far from the site where the intrusion was said to have occurred, and that all of his activities occurred on the U.S. side of the border.
During an appearance on Wednesday before congressmen, Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa was berated by some legislators over the issue, local media reported.
“I ask you, is the Mexican government now complacent, negligent, apathetic, unaware or does it not watch over our nation’s territory?” said congressman Samuel Aguilar during the hearing.