Armed stand-off: Mexican soldiers vs. US Border Patrol
- Armed stand-off between Mexican soldiers and U.S. officials investigating
fatal shooting of boy, 15
By Mail Foreign Service
Daily Mail - UK
June 10, 2010
Armed Mexican soldiers have clashed with U.S. Border Patrol agents over
investigations into the fatal shooting of a teenager.
The confrontation on the banks of the Rio Grande saw American agents chased
from the scene by Mexican security forces pointing their rifles at them, the
FBI said yesterday.
It comes the day after a 15-year-old Mexican boy was shot dead at the
U.S.-Mexico border by American officials after pelting them with stones. It
was the second fatal shooting in two weeks. 'It pretty quickly got very
intense over on the Mexican side,' FBI spokesman Andrea Simmons said about
She added that agents later returned and resumed the investigation, even as
Mexican authorities pointed guns at them from across the river.
However, Mexico's Defense Secretary later released a statement saying
soldiers were not present at the reported confrontation.
Enrique Torres, spokesman for the joint federal, state and municipal police
operation in Chihuahua, said it was Mexican police at the scene.
Mexican authorities accused the Americans of trying to recover evidence from
their side of the border, according to a witness.
The confrontation occurred Monday night over the body of Sergio Adrian
Hernandez Huereka, who died of his wounds beside the column of a railroad
bridge connecting Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.
U.S. officials claim the guard was defending himself and his colleagues when
he gunned down the teenager on the other side of the border as he and other
officers were pelted with stones.
The border patrol were trying to arrest illegal immigrants on the Texas side
of the Rio Grande river.
The dead teenager's father Jesus Hernandez said: 'There is a God, so why
would I want vengeance if no one will return him to me.
'They killed my little boy and the only thing I ask is for the law to be
His wife Maria Guadalupe Huereca said: 'May God forgive them because I know
nothing will happen to them.'
Preliminary reports on the incident indicated that U.S. officers on bicycle
patrol 'were assaulted with rocks by an unknown number of people,' Border
Patrol Special Operations Supervisor Ramiro Cordero said. 'During the
assault at least one agent discharged his firearm,' he added. 'The agent is
currently on administrative leave. A thorough, multi-agency investigation is
The shooting was beneath a railway bridge linking the two nations.
The boy's sister, Rosario, said her brother was playing with several friends
and did not plan to cross the border.
'They say that they started firing from over there and suddenly hit him in
the head,' she said.
It comes comes less than two weeks after another Mexican migrant, Anastasio
Hernandez, 32, died after a U.S. border official shocked him with a stun gun
at the San Ysidro border crossing that separates San Diego and Tijuana,
Mexico. The San Diego medical examiner's office ruled that death a homicide.
Both the U.S. and Mexican governments have made veiled accusations
suggesting misconduct on the part of the other's law enforcement agents over
Hernandez was found six metres into Mexico, and an autopsy revealed that the
fatal shot was fired at a relatively close range, according to Arturo
Sandoval, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general's office.
Mexican authorities said a .40-calibre shell casing was found near the body,
suggesting that the Border Patrol agent might have crossed into Mexico to
shoot the boy.
That would violate the rules for Border Patrol agents, who are supposed to
stay on the U.S. side - and could open the agent to a Mexican homicide
A U.S. official close to the investigation said authorities have a video
showing that the Border Patrol agent did not cross into Mexico.
In fact, the official said, the video shows what appear to be members of
Mexican law enforcement crossing on to the U.S. side, picking something up
and returning to Mexico.
Alejandro Pariente, Chihuahua state's regional deputy attorney general, said
the U.S. Border Patrol has given video footage which he is reviewing.
He declined to describe it except to say that it has sped up the
A vigil was held for the dead teenager last night near the scene where he
Mexican President Felipe Calderon pledged to 'use all resources available to
protect the rights of Mexican migrants'.
Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said its records indicate the number
of Mexicans killed or wounded by immigration authorities rose from five in
2008 to 17 so far this year.
Last month President Calderon travelled to Washington for talks with Barack
Obama over the contentious issue of illegal immigration into the U.S. and
the controversy over the recently passed Arizona anti-immigrant law.
He said: 'I know that we share the interest in promoting dignified, legal
and orderly living conditions to all migrant workers.
'Many of them, despite their significant contribution to the economy and to
the society of the Unites States, still live in the shadows and,
occasionally, as in Arizona, they even face discrimination.'
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