Media Doesn't Understand the Military - Part 2
What We Believe

Fallen Marine Not Allowed Honors In Mexico

JarheadFred sends this one about a funeral (in Mexico) of a fallen Marine.

Shameful, cowardly and disgusting. Mexico had better not ever need the services of the US Marines.

Concerned about rifle replicas, Mexican soldiers interrupt funeral of U.S. Marine killed in Iraq
Monday July 05, 2004
By WILL WEISSERT - Associated Press Writer
SAN LUIS DE LA PAZ, Mexico (AP) Mexican soldiers carrying automatic weapons interrupted the Independence Day funeral of a U.S. Marine and demanded that the Marine honor guard give up ceremonial replicas of rifles they carried. The move drew an angry reaction from the U.S. Ambassador.

Hundreds of friends and relatives packed a small cemetery for the funeral on Sunday of 22-year-old Juan Lopez, who was born in this sun-scorched farming town, immigrated to Dalton, Ga., as a teenager and became a Marine.

He was killed in an ambush in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, on June 21.

Maj. Curt Gwilliam presented an American flag to Lopez's widow, Sandra Torres, who clutched a bouquet of yellow and white flowers while tears streamed down her face.

While the funeral demonstrated the close human ties of Mexico and the United States, problems began moments after the start.

Four U.S. Marines marched solemnly to the grave carrying an American flag and the colors of the Marine Corps. Two of the men had rifles that looked real, but could not be fired, strapped to their backs.

Four Mexican soldiers blocked their path, asking the four Marines and six others who had served as pallbearers to return to the car that had brought them to the funeral. Several minutes of discussions by soldiers from both countries continued until a trumpet player began a rendition of taps and the funeral proceeded, despite the objections of the Mexican troops...

The story continues with some historical context for the issues with the Marines. Mexican law prohibits armed foreign troops on it's soil. Apparently, the Mexicans are still smarting from 1847 when US Marines captured Mexico city.

The Mexican Army sent fourteen soldiers to guard the grave site and to prevent the four Marines from leaving their vehicle after the funeral (while diplomatic issues were being sorted out). I'm sure one of the Marines must have muttered, "You're gonna need more than fourteen...."