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Growing pattern of border brutality

Growing pattern of border brutality

border shooting

A reporter stands where Jose Alfredo Yañez Reyes might have been when he was shot. There is no sign of blood on the U.S. side, meaning he was on the Mexican side when he was shot.

Photo: AFSC / Pedro Rios

Tijuana/San Diego - The Migrant Defense Coalition (based in Baja California, Mexico) and the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) condemn the latest act of aggression committed Tuesday night by Border Patrol agents at the border fence between Tijuana and San Diego. 

According to press reports and observations made by SDIRC members during a visit to the site where the incident took place, a 40-year old resident of Tijuana was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent. Based on the blood found on the Mexican side of the border, it appears that the victim was on the Mexican side of the fence when the agent shot at him from the U.S. side. 

This latest incident is part of a pattern of brutality that has been rocking the border region since President Obama’s administration called for an increase of Border Patrol personnel.

Since May of 2010, human rights organizations based on the U.S.-Mexico border have documented at least seven acts of excessive force used by U.S. immigration authorities with six of these having resulted in the loss of unarmed civilian lives.

None of these cases of brutality have been vetted in a court of justice.  None of the agents at fault have been brought to justice and the U.S. and Mexican governments have not made the findings of the investigations of these acts public.

In a working meeting in Tijuana on Wednesday, organizations from San Diego and Baja California coalitions arrived at agreements with the goals of fortifying the defense of the rights of migrants and border residents.

Another assassination at the hands of United States immigration authorities fills the border region with indignation.  We exhort the Mexican government to make the motion before international law to condemn the wave of aggression and impunity that agitates the region,” affirmed Jose Moreno Mena, general coordinator of the Migrant Defense Coalition based in Baja California, Mexico.

At the same time, Pedro Rios, chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and director of the San Diego Office of the American Friends Service Committee stated, “Another assassination on the border stands as evidence of a pattern of brutality by Border Patrol in the region.  We demand that President Obama’s administration guarantee that the agents be sufficiently trained and that agents involved in acts of violence be brought to justice.

View the letter to be sent to the House Judiciary Committees.

Ricardo Favela
San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium
(760) 468-4519
San Diego, CA

José A. Moreno Mena
Coalición Pro Defensa del Migrante, A.C.
(686) 137-1381
(664) 607-7077
Tijuana, B.C.