August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Derechos Humanos 'Border Patrol Deadly Force Terrorizes Border Communities'

U.S. Border Patrol's Deadly Force Policies
Terrorize Border Communities
Remembering the migrants on San Xavier Tohono O'odham land.
Photo Brenda Norrell.

By Derechos Humanos Coalition
Censored News
Coalición de Derechos Humanos denounces the most recent shooting of a 16 year-old boy by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The incident, which occurred on October 10th, is the latest in a series of shootings that have raised serious questions as to the use of deadly force by the largest police agency, the U.S. Border Patrol. The community deserves an immediate halt and review of their "use of force" policies, and an independent, objective, and thorough investigation of the incident, which may include the possible prosecution of the Border Patrol agent to stand trial for the murder of this young man.
The October 10th shooting has created yet another international incident, with the U.S. Border Patrol opening fire into Nogales, Sonora, México, hitting a nearby medical office and putting multiple bullets into the body of 16 year-old José Antonio Elena Rodríguez. As has been typical of recent shootings, the Border Patrol has claimed that the victim was "throwing rocks" and that the agent "feared for his life," justifying deadly force that could very well have taken more innocent lives. Despite the fact that the alleged rock throwers were across an international boundary line, this agent engaged in shooting indiscriminately across the border without regard for the populated area on the other side, and the possibility of killing or injuring bystanders.
In the last two years, at least four shooting incidents involving alleged "rock throwers" have occurred, and even the tragic and unnecessary shooting of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie illuminates the dangerous policy of indiscriminate and irresponsible use of deadly force. This is not simply a matter of "lack of training," as the Border Patrol Union has stated-the use of deadly force obviously IS the policy being instilled and employed by agents. Agents have routinely opened fire on individuals without confirming their identity or whether a criminal act was being committed. It is a deplorable and dangerous policy that makes our communities less safe, and terrorizes those who live in communities where Border Patrol agents have been embedded. U.S. Border Patrol agents are not above the law, and to be judge, jury and executioner is absolutely unacceptable and criminal under the law. The U. S Border Patrol has proved to be out of control by any standard of acceptable law enforcement.
Derechos Humanos calls on all people of conscience to join us in denouncing this policy of deadly force, in demanding an objective and independent investigation into the murder of José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, and for the prosecution of his murderer to the fullest extent of the law. We must begin to evaluate and assess the consequences of the unprecedented growth of this agency.
Coalición de Derechos Humanos ("The Human Rights Coalition") is a grassroots organization, based in Tucson, Arizona, which promotes respect for human/civil rights and fights the militarization of the Southern Border region, discrimination, and human rights abuses by federal, state and local law enforcement officials affecting U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike.
Coalición de Derechos Humanos
P.O. Box 1286 Tucson, AZ 85702
Tel: 520.770.1373
Fax: 520.770.7455

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.

US Border Patrol kills teen in Mexico

Reuters photo
US Border Patrol opened fire on 16-year-old throwing rocks in Nogales, Mexico, and killed him

Frontera NorteSur News: Group Calls for Border Security Oversight

October 17, 2012
Human Rights News
By Frontera NorteSur
Posted at Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat

An El Paso-based immigrant advocacy and human rights organization has renewed a demand for Washington to establish an independent oversight and review commission tasked with examining transparency, institutional violence and “the overall border enforcement strategy and its impact on border communities and families.”

The Border Network for Human Rights made the call following last week’s shooting death of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez allegedly by a Border Patrol agent at the international line separating Nogales, Arizona, from its sister city of Nogales, Sonora.

The young man was shot six times from the U.S. side of the border while he was in Mexico, according to a lawyer representing the victim’s family. Quoted in the local press, the Border Patrol said shots were fired from U.S. territory when its agents were accosted by rock throwers after observing smugglers toss drugs over a border fence.

“Verbal commands from agents to cease were ignored,” the Border Patrol said. U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Victor Brabble added that video footage of the incident was turned over to the FBI.

The Mexican Embassy in the U..S. swiftly condemned the October 10 shooting, adding that preliminary information “once again raises serious doubts about the U.S. of lethal force by Border Patrol agents..”

Elena Rodriguez was buried Sunday, October 14, after 200 people paid their last respects at a Nogales mass. His relatives have retained a U.S. attorney and are considering legal action.

“We are waiting for the investigation to conclude on both sides of the border,” family lawyer Luis Parra said this week. “The family wants justice, transparency and an answer to the doubts they have about the young man’s death.”

Parra described Elena Rodriguez as “a very good young man” with no criminal record who had plans of finishing school and joining the Mexican military. The teen might have been on the way to meet his brother when he was shot and killed, Parra said.

The Nogales shooting was the third reported killing of a Mexican national by the Border Patrol since the summer. On July 7, Border Patrol bullets were blamed for the death of 29-year-old Juan Pablo Perez Santillan on the Brownsville-Matamoros border of Texas and Tamaulipas. Guillermo Arevalo Pedraza, 36, was killed in a Border Patrol shooting September 3 at the border of Laredo/Nuevo Laredo, again in the Texas and Tamaulipas corridor.

The Border Network questioned rock throwing as a standard justification for lethal shootings, expressing concern that a U.S. judge’s adverse ruling in a lawsuit filed by relatives of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, who was shot to death on the Ciudad Juarez side of the border by a Border Patrol agent in 2010 after allegedly throwing rocks, could result in a miscarriage of justice in this month’s Nogales incident.

In a statement, Border Network Executive Director Fernando Garcia placed the shootings in the larger context of a “failed” U.S. border strategy. “We have been insisting that the consequences of massive border enforcement and militarization, specifically in the lack of accountability and oversight, have led us to a disastrous human rights and civil rights situation at the U.S.-Mexico border,” Garcia contended.

According to Garcia’s group, previous demands that President Obama use his executive power to set up an independent body to monitor, investigate and oversee the activities of the Department of Homeland Security and other border-related security agencies have gone unanswered.

Additional sources:, October 16, 2012. Nuevo Dia/El Universal, October 16, 2012., October 15, 2012. Article by Jonathan Clark., October 15, 2012. Proceso/Apro, October 11, 2012., October 11, 2012. La Jornada, September 7, 2012. Article by Martin Sanchez, Carlos Figueroa and Notimex.

Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico

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