Apr 1, 2013

Border Patrol account of deadly Nogales shooting is disputed

I was in Nogales last November. We had a long, tearful talk with José Antonio's grandmother and aunt and saw the place where the boy was shot. There is a small altar there on the sidewalk where the Border Patrol fired some 13 bullets into his body. To do so, they pretty much had to poke the rifle through chinks in the fence and aim at the boy's body. Now a witness says he wasn't even throwing rocks toward the border (not as if that would justify the crime even if he were). The FBI says it's investigation is "on-going". I wrote about José Antonio's death in "A Killing Spree on the Border" and about a similar case earlier in "Lethal Force on the Border."

It's important to maintain attention on the issue so that the question of the use of excessive force by BP agents is finally dealt with and those responsible for these murders are brought to justice.

Arizona Daily Star

by Perla Trevizo

March 30, 2013

NOGALES, Sonora - A Nogales teenager was simply walking down the street and not throwing rocks at U.S. Border Patrol agents the night he was shot and killed, a new witness says, contradicting the agency's initial statement.

Isidro Alvarado, 36, said he was walking less than 20 feet behind José Antonio Elena Rodríguez when two other young men suddenly ran past him and into a side street. He then heard gunshots come from different directions and he saw José fall to the ground.

Alvarado ran south in the same direction as the two men to take cover and call the police, he said earlier this week as he retraced his steps near the DeConcini Port of Entry.

On Oct. 10, 2012, Nogales, Ariz., police and the Border Patrol responded to a 911 call about 11:30 p.m. Officers reported seeing two people with marijuana bundles wrapped around their body on International Street, according to police reports.

They were trying to climb back into Mexico, the report said, when a group started to throw rocks at the officers over the border fence.

When they refused to stop, a Border Patrol agent who was near it opened fire into Mexico, hitting one of them.

Another witness interviewed by Mexican law enforcement said he saw four people running with rocks but didn't specify if José was one of them. Alvarado said he didn't see anyone else running, besides the two young men who apparently had just jumped the border fence, nor did he see José throwing rocks. Read more. 

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