Video from Chile misattributed as military tanks deployed at Texas border

By: Rajini KG
February 1 2024

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Video from Chile misattributed as military tanks deployed at Texas border

Screenshot of the viral video. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video shows military vehicle movement in Chile. It is unrelated to the Texas border standoff.

Claim ID 1d0094ba

What is the claim?

Social media users have been sharing several videos online, falsely claiming they show military deployment in Texas amid the border standoff between the Texan administration and the U.S. federal government over the cutting of the border fence in Texas's Eagle Pass.

One user on X (formerly Twitter) shared a video (archived here and here) of green military tanks crossing a road with a desert-like landscape on both sides — claiming it shows "unusual tank movement" in Texas. A similar video was shared on TikTok and YouTube (archive here and here).

Screenshot of the viral video. (Source: X/TikTok/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is false. The video shows the movement of military tanks in Chile, not Texas.

How we debunked it?

Through a reverse image search, we found the same video posted on TikTok on November 8, 2023 with the hashtags #ChileanArmy and #northchile. Another TikTok user posted the same video on November 7, 2024. This is the oldest version of the video available online.

In the TikTok video, at 0:04 seconds, we can see a green road sign that is also visible in the viral video. The placenames "Est. Ohiggins" and "Calama" can be seen on the sign. Calama is a city in the Antofagasta region in north Chile. 

Comparison of viral video and the location traced on Google Maps. (Source: X/Google Maps/Screenshot)

Near the road sign, at 0.05 seconds in the viral video, four white buildings with triangular roofs in an arid landscape. Logically Facts analysed the footage and located it to the SQM Carbonate plant located in Antofagasta, Chile. SQM (Sociedad Química y Minera), is a Chilean chemical company.

Comparison of the viral video and Google Maps. (Source: Google Maps/Screenshot)

In the viral video, at the timestamp of 0:03 seconds, we can see the number plate of a red car that reads "SB TJ 70." We found that the format of this license plate matches the ones seen in Chile. The number plates in Texas are different.

Comparison of Chile's Number plate and Texas's Number plate
. (Source: X/ BioBioChile/Texas Department of Motor Vehicles/Screenshot)

Though Logically Facts could not independently verify the date of the video recorded, the above evidence establishes that the video was taken in Chile, not Texas.

The Texas National Guard also confirmed to Logically Facts that it has not sent any military tanks to the border. 

The border crisis in the U.S.

The state government and federal authorities are engaged in a dispute over immigration control along the Texas-Mexico border that has persisted since January 22, 2024, after the Supreme Court allowed a fence at the Texas border to be cut. However, Texas authorities blocked national guards from conducting their operation, as Texas has rejected the federal government and Supreme Court orders.

Logically Facts has been monitoring misinformation around the ongoing border standoff; read our fact-checks here and here. Read our article here to understand what triggered the standoff and what is happening in the U.S.

The verdict

Our research shows that the video is from Chile, and was taken in 2023. The video is unrelated to the ongoing standoff between the Texas administration and the federal government in the U.S. over the border crisis. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before