Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Mexican Military Massing South Of US Border

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Mexican Military Massing South Of US Border Mexico City

Does a video filmed at night in an urban area show Mexican military currently massing just south of the U.S. border near California on June 17, 2023? No, that's not true: The footage shows a shopping district in Mexico City, which is about 1,700 miles away from San Ysidro, California. Also, this video has been circulating online since at least mid-May 2023 so it does not represent something happening on June 17-18, 2023. Finally, the video of military vehicles matches a block of the street that was used as a predawn staging area for military vehicles before a parade on Mexican Independence Day, September 16, 2022.

The video showing a nighttime scene of a large group of military vehicles was posted to TikTok on May 17, 2023, (archived here) by @sisoyop8, a now-deactivated account. Another copy of @sisoyop8's video with the text caption, "ESPERANDO EL GRITO DE GUERRA," which translates to "Waiting for the war cry," was uploaded on May 23, 2023, by @elguer02000f.

On June 18, 2023, an article (archived here) was published by Hal Turner Radio Show titled "VIDEO: Mexico Military Massing Near U.S. Border." It opened:

Video has come in to the Hal Turner Radio Show which shows a very significant number of Mexican military troops and armed vehicles massing just south of the US Border in the California area, LAST NIGHT.

No word from anyone as to why.

This is how the article appeared at the time of writing:


(Image source: halturnerradioshow.com screenshot taken on Wed Jun 21 20:28:13 2023 UTC)

The image (above) is a still frame from about 16 seconds into the TikTok video. Also embedded in the article (pictured below right) is the video of the military vehicles in the city. Although both the @elguer02000f and Hal Turner versions have the same words in the text caption, the version that appears in the Hal Turner article has a red background that obscures the TikTok handle of @sisoyop8 visible at the opening (below left) and has an added Mexican flag that hides the handle later when it shifts to the other side of the frame (below right). The intentional hiding of a source, making the video harder to trace, is one of several disinformation tactics known as information laundering.

This video was online for at least a month before June 18, 2023, when this article was published, and the alarmist claims are false.


(Image source: Lead Stories composite image with TikTok and halturnerradioshow.com images taken on Wed Jun 21 21:09:36 2023 UTC)

The Hal Turner Radio show has a website that regularly deals in conspiracy content. Lead Stories has published fact checks on false claims from this site on multiple occasions.

Lead Stories was able to geolocate the shopping district shown in the video by searching Google Maps for the shop name Aspik, which has a finite number of locations. A June 20, 2023, Reuters fact check included an Excélsior TV newscast spot with reporter Raul Flores Martinez that was broadcast live at 6:13 a.m. on September 16, 2022, and posted on YouTube that same day. The video is titled (translated by Google), "Armed Forces arrive at the Historic Center of CDMX for the September 16 parade." CDMX is the acronym for Ciudad de México (Mexico City). Flores gives the anticipatory rundown for the military parade in the coming day. He says that the Mexican army, national guard and navy will be there and that some of the preparations began at midnight.

This image below will open larger in a new window. This composite image shows two Google Street View images taken from different positions (here and here) on the same city block. The road is divided; the left lanes are José María Izazaga and the right lanes are Eje 1A Sur (Axis 1A South). Each location is paired with a screenshot from one of the videos, and some visible landmarks repeating in the images are marked.

This demonstrates that both videos were filmed on the same city block, and both were filmed when it was not daytime. Another detail evident when comparing both of the videos to the Street View images is that the military vehicles are facing opposite from the usual direction of the one-way traffic on the street -- the daytime traffic follows the arrows painted on the pavement while the military vehicles do not.

Despite the similarities, this does not verify beyond any doubt the date the TikTok video was filmed. Lead Stories reached out to the Mexican National Defense Ministry (SEDENA) for information regarding what is pictured in the TikTok video and will update this article if we receive a reply.


(Image source: Lead Stories composite image with Google Street View, YouTube and TikTok screenshots taken on Wed Jun 21 22:11:40 2023 UTC)

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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