Friday, May 24, 2024

Juarez Teen Shot By Border Patrol

Outrage continues to mount over a US Border Patrol shooting of an unarmed 15 year old Mexican youth even as conflicting details emerge.

Vigils and protests were under way yesterday to mourn the death of Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, who was shot in the head by a US agent during an incident on the border. ABorder Patrol was pelted by rocks being thrown by a group of youths as he attempted to arrest an individual on the El Paso side. The agent then took aim and fired at the crowd hitting and killing Hernandez.

Thursday morning, a cell phone video of the incident emerged, first on Unvision, and later on CNN. CNN claims there is a point where the video has been edited. A narrative, of the video from the El Paso Times describes it as showing:

“four men crossing the almost-dry riverbed toward a fence on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. The men then run back toward Mexico when a Border Patrol agent arrives on a bicycle and stops one man at gunpoint on the concrete riverbank on the U.S. side.
“…while the agent has the man on the ground, he points his gun toward Mexico before several gunshots are heard. The video then shows a body next to a column under the railroad Black Bridge.
“Estan tirando piedras. Le dio, el estupido, le dio,” a person says on the video. Translated, “They are throwing rocks. He hit him, that stupid one, hit him.”

US authorities reported what is also visible on the video — Mexican police quickly arriving with guns drawn and the American agents moving out of the area to avoid a confrontation. 

The shooting has been condemned at all levels of the Mexican government as well as world-wide including a statement by Amnesty International.

While the Mexican government has portrayed Hernandez as a good kid and his father says he was a “student not a troublemaker”, officials on the US side are releasing details which differ from this picture.

They claim Hernández was part of a group of youths who help guide “coyotes” across the border as they smuggle immigrants. He is listed as one of the “most-wanted” juveniles and has a charge of smuggling from as recently as 2009.

While the border region has been a site of heightened tensions increased violence from the drug cartels has worsened the situation. Coupled with the recently passed controversial law in Arizona, many Mexicans feel they are being particularly targeted.

Protesters in El Paso gathered at the site of the incident chanting “Justicia, justicia” citing what they believed to be a use of excessive force against the teen by US law enforcement.

“It’s more than a protest. It’s a way of saying we care for human life,” Triya Rabindran, 39, of El Paso said while holding a lighted candle.

Two weeks ago, Anastasio Hernández, 32, from Mexico, died after a Customs and Border Protection officer shocked him with a stun gun at the San Diego/Tijuana border crossing.