Mexican hostility toward U.S. Border Patrol
Michael Webster: Syndicated Investigative reporter. June 12, 2010 at 12:01 PM PDT
Family and friends at Sergio Adrian Hernandez funeral today in Cd. Juarez Mexico
Hostility against U.S. Border Patrol is spreading across Mexico over the recently alleged illegal deaths of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez by a U.S. border agent, (name withhold) which followed the May 28 death of Anastasio Hernández Rojas, a 42-year-old Mexican national who died after U.S. border agents used a stun gun against him as he reportedly resisted deportation near San Diego.
Mexican President Felipe Calderón said his government was "profoundly angered" by the killing of Sergio Adrian Hernández Huereka. Calderón said he feared anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States is encouraging violence against Mexicans.
The recent deaths of both Mexican citizens the one at the San Ysidro, CA, Port of Entry near San Diego, California, the other between El Paso, TX, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico have resulted in ongoing investigations by both countries.
Calderón urged U.S. agencies to review their policies on the use of force.
Mexico officially condemned the shooting of the 15-year-old boy by a U.S. Border Patrol agent through diplomatic correspondence and an angry phone call to the Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano from Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gomez Mont. Gomez Mont told Napolitano the "unjustified use of force against our population is unacceptable to the Mexican government."
Some Mexican politicians called for the agent's extradition to face Mexican justice. A Mexican congressman, Ricardo Lopez Pescador, is now demanding that the “homicidal agents of the Border Patrol” must be extradited to Mexico and put in the hands of Mexican judges. (This from “El Universal” (Mexico City) today.) Separately, the leader of Mexico’s PRD (left wing pol. party,) demands that President Calderon, in turn, demand from the U.S. government the extradition to Mexico of the Border Patrol Agents who “brutally” killed two of our countrymen, one just a boy.
Prosecutors in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua have concluded Hernandez's death was an intentional homicide and charges should be filed against the perpetrator, said Alejandro Parientes, the regional state deputy attorney general. The federal Attorney General's Office said there would be no public comment while the investigation continues.
Parientes said his investigation concluded the agent fired his weapon from the U.S. side of the border, but because Hernandez died on the Mexican side, Mexican courts have jurisdiction.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that the U.S. Government regrets the incident and that the FBI is investigating the matter. The U.S. Border Fire Report has learned that the FBI has opened a civil rights probe against the Border Patrol agent who shot and killed the 15-year-old Hernandez at the international boundary between the U.S. and Mexico.
AP reports that a civil rights probe well investigate allegations of abuse by any U.S. law enforcement officer. If investigators determine the Border Patrol agent shot Hernandez without justification, he could be found to have violated Hernandez's civil rights, which is a crime. The fate of the agent could range from being cleared of all wrongdoing to a charge of homicide.
Part of that inquiry, the attorney general said, will include a review of a recently surfaced cell phone video from an unidentified witness. The 10-minute video shows the officer restraining one of the border-crossers and apparently firing into Mexico at least three times. The investigation should determine which country has jurisdiction in the case.
On the tape the agent . . . gave verbal commands to the remaining subjects to stop and retreat. However, it appears that the subjects surrounded the agent and continued to throw rocks at him. The agent then fired his service weapon several times, striking one subject who later died. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzFqhSkQpFo
Still another cell phone recording of the El Paso shooting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgCIl7c7XpM
Also included is some game camera footage from San Diego of a teenage kid that had the same profession that the kid that got shot had http://www.youtube.com/user/usevolutions
According to witnesses the Mexican army not only witnessed the incident but it has been reported that they pointed there weapons at American law enforcement officers and forced an U.S. law enforcement officer to leave the area and was unable to continue to retrieve evidence at the scene of the shooting. Reportedly another TAPE HAS BEEN FOUND THAT SHOWS MEXICAN L.E. CROSSED OVER INTO THE U.S. AND PICKED UP SOMETHING (POSSIBLE EVIDENCE?) AND WENT BACK TO MEXICO WITH IT. Shortly after the shooting, Mexican federal police chased Border Patrol agents out of the riverbed with rifles trained on them while a crowd on the Mexican side taunted the U.S. officials and threw rocks and firecrackers.
An autopsy, performed on the young 15 year old-Sergio Adrian Hernandez, showed that the cause of death was a head wound caused by a firearm at a relatively short distance. The crime occurred Monday on the Mexican side under the international railroad bridge between El Paso and Cd. Juarez. Yesterday the Ministerio Publico determined that the painful death was caused by an Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol in an act of aggression. Legally the crime occurred in a federal zone between the United States and Mexico and it was determined to be caused by a foreign Agent. The body was found on the bank of the Rio Bravo (Rio Grande) on the Mexican side in a belly-up position and had signs of violent injury by projectiles from a firearm. At the crime scene was found a case from a .40 caliber firearm which has been sent to a criminal laboratory for analysis. In this case the scientific and technical evidence is consistent that the painful death was caused by an Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol. What is still unclear is whether Hernandez was one of the rock-throwers and whether the agent or the victim crossed the international border.
Such incidents are on the rise, the Mexican government says. Five Mexicans were hurt or killed by U.S. immigration agents in 2008, 12 in 2009 and 17 so far this year, according to data maintained by the Mexican Foreign Ministry.
Many Mexicans blame Arizona's tough new immigration law for fanning anger toward immigrants. The law makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It states that an officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest shall, when practicable, ask about a person's legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally.
"We are worried by this surge in violence against Mexicans, which has also been associated with a recent surge in other anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican sentiments in the United States," Calderón said.
In a written statement, the FBI said the El Paso incident began about 6:30 p.m. Monday, when a U.S. Border Patrol agent arrived to assist colleagues responding to a report of suspected illegal immigrants being smuggled into the U.S.
The unidentified agent, according to the FBI statement, detained one of the suspects while others reportedly threw rocks at the agent after running to the Mexican side of the border.
"This agent . . . gave verbal commands to the remaining subjects to stop and retreat," the statement said. "However, the subjects surrounded the agent and continued to throw rocks at him. The agent then fired his service weapon several times, striking one subject who later died."
The Mexican Foreign Ministry, in its own statement, said the use of firearms to "repel attacks with stones represents a disproportionate use of force, especially coming from authorities who receive specialized training in this area."
The Mother of one of the boys who refused to give her name, whose son allegedly witnessed the shooting, said, “I understand equal force that Allegra may use to defend themselves, but killing a young man who may have been tossing rocks with bullets is excessive force. She said, it would have been different if the agent had returned the attack by throwing rocks back.”
But T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing about 17,000 agents and support staff, said rock attacks, a common danger faced by border agents, have the "capacity to inflict serious damage, if not death."
"It appears that he acted properly," he said of the agent, whom he described as an "experienced seven-year veteran."
Bonner said U.S. immigration-enforcement records show that the 15-year-old Mexican boy had been arrested six times on various charges related to human smuggling or illegal entry. Last year, Bonner said, the boy provided a sworn statement to investigators indicating that he was part of an organized smuggling ring.
He said there is no information to suggest that the agent was aware of the boy's record at the time of the shooting.
Other news report that international law experts indicate that if it is determined that the shooting was a crime and not justified use of force by law enforcement, long-standing legal principle in the U.S. states that the victim's location determines jurisdiction,
Still, most countries believe that they can prosecute anyone who harms one of their citizens, regardless of location. In the case of the U.S. and Mexico, no treaty covers this specific set of circumstances.
If the Border Patrol agent went to Mexico for any reason, he could be subject to arrest. The U.S. would have difficulty arguing that Mexico was acting illegally. On the other hand, if Mexican authorities kidnapped the agent in the U.S. and took him to Mexico for trial — as the U.S. did in the case of a Mexican doctor involved in the torture and killing of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent — the U.S. could argue violation of its sovereignty.
Both countries could agree to establish a claims commission that, depending on the ground rules, could just determine facts or go so far as to order compensation, said Jordan Paust, an international law expert at the University of Houston.
Theoretically, the case could go to the International Court of Justice, but the U.S. would have to agree to that, he said. Or the whole thing could be handled diplomatically.
Hernandez's family would also have the option of pursuing a civil case against the Border Patrol agent.
If Mexico requested extradition, normally the Obama administration would proceed with the request unless it is conducting its own criminal investigation and prosecution, Paust said. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder would assign a federal prosecutor to represent Mexico's case before a U.S. magistrate or district judge.
If the U.S. felt there were no grounds for the request — for example, it was self-defense — Mexico could hire its own attorney to represent its case in federal court. That lawyer would have to first prove that Mexico had jurisdiction, then show that the alleged crime existed under both countries' laws, and finally would have to demonstrate that there was probable cause that the crime had been committed.
According to El Diario de Juarez newspaper images show death of migrant Anastasio Hernandez Rojas cried for mercy and help as his life was extinguished by more than 20 United States Border Guards as they beat him and discharged electrical TASER charges into him. The vivid images that can be seen on 5 video recordings last an agonizing two and a half minutes was recorded by Humberto Navarrete Mendoza who agreed to give his eyewitness testimony and recordings taken with his cell phone.
Navarrete became acquainted with the dead man about a week before he was killed. Dozens of people crossing through the Port of San Ysidro, California, saw the torture and cried to stop the beating. A Mexican Immigration officer ordered the people to disperse from the Mexican side of the port without expressing a desire to interview witnesses.
With desperation and visible fear, many people remained muted at the scene on the U.S. side but demanded justice on the Mexican side as recorded by Navarrete, a resident of San Diego. “Help me! Help me! Please help me,” cried Anastasio moments before he died. This can be seen on the video that lasted 1:24 minutes. The voice of a woman that screamed “Let him go now!” can be heard on the recording taken by Humberto, but the plea remained unanswered as Anastasio suffered more blows and at least 5 more electrical discharges before he fell punished into immobility. Navarrete questioned the excessive use of force and assured that Anastasio did not resist.
In that same video an agent can be seen saying he didn’t know what was happening but at the same moment said “Obviously, he is not cooperating.” Anastasio’s cries of pain brought confusion and desperation onto the faces of witnesses and drowned out the noise of grinding metal that surrounds the port between the Port of San Ysidro and the Mexican Port of Entry. Although it was in the dark of night, the scene was clearly recorded by Humberto and he is sure that more than 20 U.S. Agents participated in the beating. It was at 8:00 PM on Wednesday the 28th of May as Humberto and a friend were headed into Tijuana when they heard the painful screams. Although they were more than 50 meters away, they were alerted that something was happening. “Anastasio was defenseless,” said Humberto so they yelled for the beating to stop. “It was at that moment that they hit him with the TASER,’ said Humberto. Although Humberto witnessed a brutal beating, nobody imagined that it would result in the death of the victim. Hernandez Rojas got his wings on the night of Wednesday past at a funeral in San Diego. He will be buried in that same county according to his family.
Other than the now famous case of the Mexican teenager at the Rio Grande, fourteen persons became victims of homicide in Juarez yesterday. A bloody human head was also left on a park bench in Zaragoza, a nearby community in the Juarez valley.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/06/11/20100611border-agent-kills-teen-fuels-us-mexico-tension.html#ixzz0qetwFjUv http://bit.ly/a14Hmp http://blog.altoarizona.com/blog/2010/06/border-death-time-for-action-interview-w-ron-gochez-immigration-reform-now.html
A TAPE HAS BEEN FOUND THAT SHOWS MEXICAN L.E. CROSSED OVER INTO THE U.S. AND PICKED UP SOMETHING (POSSIBLE EVIDENCE?) AND WENT BACK TO MEXICO WITH IT. Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/06/11/20100611border-agent-kills-teen-fuels-us-mexico-tension.html#ixzz0qcQiVAUV
GO MIDWAY DOWN ON THE RIGHT AND SEE THE GRAPHIC PHOTOS UNDER "SLIDESHOW":
· Teen fatally shot by border agent (graphic) | Story
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/06/11/20100611border-agent-kills-teen-fuels-us-mexico-tension.html#ixzz0qcRU7xje http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzFqhSkQpFo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgCIl7c7XpM
Here is the entire cell phone recording of the El Paso shooting. Also included is some game camera footage from San Diego of a teenage kid that had the same profession that the kid that got shot had. http://www.youtube.com/user/usevolutions
U.S. Attorney General
Mexican President Felipe Calderón
Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gomez Mont. Gomez Mont
Mexican congressman, Ricardo Lopez Pescador
Mexican Foreign Ministry
T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council
Jordan Paust, an international law expert at the University of Houston.
Humberto Navarrete Mendoza
Alejandro Parientes, the regional state deputy attorney general.
The Mexican Federal Attorney General's Office.
Open domain national and international news sources.
Google the following for video's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzFqhSkQpFo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgCIl7c7XpM http://www.youtube.com/user/usevolutions http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/06/11/20100611border-agent-kills-teen-fuels-us-mexico-tension.html#ixzz0qetwFjUv http://bit.ly/a14Hmp http://blog.altoarizona.com/blog/2010/06/border-death-time-for-action-interview-w-ron-gochez-immigration-reform-now.html
Read more by googling the following: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/06/11/20100611border-agent-kills-teen-fuels-us-mexico-tension.html#ixzz0qcRU7xje http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzFqhSkQpFo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgCIl7c7XpM http://www.youtube.com/user/usevolutions