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Congressman Fires Back at Critics over Blackhawk Helicopters Sent to Border

The announcement of two armored helicopters being sent to the Texas border just days after Mexican drug traffickers shot down a government helicopter, coupled with the signing of a new bill strengthening security in Texas, have sparked controversy in Mexico.

Mexico’s foreign relations secretariat issued a statement expressing their disapproval of the Texas measure, stating that it hurt relations between their country and the United States.  Mexico’s criticism of the measure came just hours before U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed to Breitbart Texas that they were sending two armored Blackhawk helicopters to the border city of Laredo.

The announcement spread like wildfire through Mexico, sparking much debate, particularly in the social media pages of that country’s news outlets, where sentiments varied from support to outrage at what they called the militarization of the border.

In an apparent response to the critics, U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela fired back. “Out of deference to Mexico’s sovereignty, we have largely deferred to their government to effectively control violence in Matamoros and Tamaulipas. Those efforts have largely failed,” the congressman said in a prepared statement to Breitbart Texas.

As Breitbart Texas previously reported, last week a group of Mexican drug traffickers fired on an Office of Air and Marine U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter, forcing it into an emergency landing.

“When Mexican bullets are aimed across the river at United States law enforcement, that changes the game,” Vela said. “We cannot stand for such activity, and I fully support U.S. Customs and Border protection’s decision to send Blackhawk helicopters to protect our men and women in the field. I hope it is enough.”

As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, Vela, along with U.S. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, sent a joint letter to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding answers about the out of control violence in Mexico, and asking if U.S. Consulates in the border cities where the violence is taking place should even remain open.

Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter and on Facebook.

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