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U.S. Repatriates Pre-Hispanic Artifacts to Mexico

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Texas ArtifactsEL PASO, TEXAS—According to a statement released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and National Park Service representatives handed over more than 500 stone artifacts to Mexican consul General Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de León at the Mexican Consulate last week. Special agents traced the smuggled knives, arrowheads, and stone tools to a single individual after National Park Service rangers spotted some of the artifacts in Big Bend National Park, which is located in southwest Texas. “We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners and foreign governments to ensure that individuals do not profit from these criminal acts,” said Erik P. Breitzke, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso. Trafficking in antiquities is estimated to be a multi-billion-dollar transnational criminal enterprise, as reported by Homeland Security Investigations. To read about Texas' Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, go to "Off the Grid."

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