Outrage grows over U.S. Border Patrol’s killing of Mexican youth
Published Jun 16, 2010 4:31 PM
A June 11 demonstration in San Antonio, Texas, to protest the killing of 14-year-old
Mexican student Sergio Adrián Hernández Huereka by a U.S. Border
Patrol agent placed the blame for his killing on the U.S.’s
militarization of its border with Mexico.
Hernández Huereka was shot and killed on June 8 as he played with friends
near the border in Cuidad Juárez, Mexico, across the river from El Paso,
Texas. His body was found in Mexico with a spent shell casing nearby, raising
the question of whether the fatal shot was fired inside Mexico.
In a press release announcing the protest, the Southwest Workers Union said,
“President Obama’s decision to send an additional 1,200 National
Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border is what caused the death of an innocent
Mexicans are seething over this death, the second in two weeks at the hands of
the Border Patrol. On May 28, 42-year-old Anastasio Hernández was beaten
and tasered to death on the border between San Ysidro, Calif., and Tijuana,
Mexico. He had lived in San Diego for 26 years. Hundreds protested this killing
on June 3. (Workers World, June 10)
Last week in Arizona a Border Patrol agent pleaded guilty in federal court to a
criminal civil rights charge for assaulting a Mexican citizen by punching and
kicking him. Sentencing is set for August.
A wake for Hernández Huereka was held in the family’s house on the
outskirts of Cuidad Juárez on June 9. On an unpaved street more than 30
family and friends gathered around a simple grey metal casket, calling for
His sister, Rosario Hernández, sobbed and cried out, “Damn them!
Damn them!” María Guadalupe Huereka, his mother, said, “May
God forgive them because I know nothing will happen [to them.]”
(Associated Press, June 9)
Above the casket was a photo of the youth wearing his soccer uniform and his
junior high school report cards, which showed grades of all As and Bs. His
mother said he was a good student who never got in trouble.
Prosecutors in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua have concluded that
Hernández Huereka’s death was an intentional homicide and have
turned the case over to federal prosecutors for further investigation.
Lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties have demanded the
extradition of the agent for prosecution in Mexico, although Mexican President
Felipe Calderón has not given any indication his government plans to seek
extradition. Instead, Calderón called for a thorough U.S. investigation
that “clears up the facts and culminates with punishing those
The FBI, which claims the youth was throwing rocks at the agent, has now opened
a civil rights probe.
In an open letter to the families of the recent victims as well as the people
of Mexico, Latin America and the world, Unión del Barrio, a revolutionary
Mexican organization based in California, said: “We are clear that these
attacks are part and parcel of the genocidal legislation fabricated and
elaborated by the U.S. government. These acts did not happen in a vacuum,
isolated from the climate of hate, racism and discrimination that are part of
the very fabric of legislation such as [Senate Bill] 1070 and the policy of the
militarization of the border.”
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