Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 17, 2012

Three Deaths on the Border: New Questions

US Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie, funeral for
Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguezl, 16, and  Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

TUCSON -- Three deaths on the border involving the US Border Patrol and the Cochise County Sheriff have raised new alarms for border residents, and opened the door for new questions.

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever was killed in an accident just two weeks before US Border Patrol agents opened fire on each other in Cochise County, killing one Border Patrol agent.

The Cochise County Record raised questions about the accident which killed Dever. Dever was killed when his truck went out of control on a forest road near Williams, Ariz., in northern Arizona on a camping trip on Sept. 18, 2012.

Although reports say the area was strewn with liquor containers, the first deputy at the scene reported otherwise. The Record points to this at Phoenix New Times. "A deputy who investigated the crash initially didn't find or smell anything in the cab that would have indicated Dever had an open container while driving or had been drinking."

The obvious questions are: Was this made to look like an accident? Was Dever being chased by another vehicle at the time of the accident? Were the crime scene and evidence tampered with?

Then, two weeks later in Cochise County, Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie was killed. The Border Patrol agents union said the agents opened fire on one another on Oct. 2.

But why would a Border Patrol agent open fire on other Border Patrol agents? Ivie had been an agent for six years, was a devout Mormon with two young children at home. Ivie once carried a pregnant woman, barefoot and bleeding, a mile and a half for help.

The area is between Naco and Bisbee, Arizona, a known drug running corridor. The official report says the agents were responding to a tripped sensor. One of the three Border Patrol agents present was injured during the fire between agents, the other was not injured.

Now, the US Border Patrol has opened fire on a 16-year-old in Nogales, Mexico, for throwing rocks, and killed him. Last week, Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was shot and killed in Nogales, Mexico, allegedly by a US Border Patrol agent.

The teen was shot six times from the U.S. side of the border while he was in Mexico.

These three deaths, and the exposures of the US ATF supplying drug cartels with assault weapons, are raising new questions. Project Gunrunner began in Laredo, Texas, in 2005, according to a report from the US Justice Department. It spread to Arizona in the ATF's Operation Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious.

The weapons were used in the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry near Noalges, Ariz., ICE agent Jaime Zapata in northern Mexico, and an unknown number of US and Mexican citizens. The most notorious of the Mexican cartels were trained as special forces in the US, at Fort Bragg and the School of Americas.

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