© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

It Looks Like Texas Sent Planes to Spy on Mexico

Photo via Staff Sgt. Shelley Gill/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

Former Governor Rick Perry vowed to “fill in the gap left by the federal government” in 2009 when he formed special teams of Texas Rangers to secure the Texas-Mexico border. But in an effort to keep things safe north of the Rio Grande, it looks as if they may have overstepped.

According to a report by the Austin-American Statesman, elite units of Texas Rangers flew high-tech planes along the border in 2010, collecting intelligence on cartels operating in northern Mexico. The report included a note that reads, “Need to be careful here as we are admitting to spying on Mexico.”

For their part, Texas Department of Public Safety officials have kept pretty quiet on the matter: They say the aerial surveillance did not look into the interior of Mexico and focused on the Rio Grande. But some experts are worried that Texas may have violated international law.

Since the report was obtained by the Statesman, many questions remain unanswered, including specifics on whether or not the planes entered Mexico’s airspace, and how long these missions lasted.

Jeremy Schwartz, a reporter for the Statesman, joins the Standard to talk about what we do know about the incident.

Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Rhonda is the newest member of the KUT News team, joining in late 2013 as producer for KUT's new daily news program, The Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.