Mexico protests US tear gas attacks

Mexico formally protested use of tear gas by the US Border Patrol, the Exterior Secretariat sending a letter to the US Embassy requesting a probe of an incident last month in which Cristian Saldana, 15, was struck in the nose by a gas canister after he reportedly threw stones at Border Patrol agents near Tijuana. “Launching tear gas does not contribute in any way to a climate of understanding and collaboration,” an Exterior Secretariat statement said Jan. 31, calling the practice “unacceptable.”

The Border Patrol says assaults on its agents reached a record 250 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 16. Mexican President Felipe Calderón, in turn, says US treatment of undocumented Mexican workers is “abusive” and amounts to persecution. (EFE, Reuters, Feb. 1)

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