CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – A U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot a 15-year-old Mexican boy after a group trying to illegally enter Texas threw rocks at officers near downtown El Paso, U.S. authorities said Tuesday.The article then goes on to quote outraged relatives of the dead rock-thrower who naturally accuse our Border Patrol officers of murdering the rock-thrower and wailing that they've now been "left with nothing". I guess that they meant that now there will be no one left to smuggle dope into America or sneak over and steal American cars or commit other crimes before scurrying back to sanctuary south of the border. And predictably, Mexican officials demand that American officials do their bidding.
The shooting, which happened Monday evening beneath a railroad bridge linking the two nations, drew sharp criticism from Mexico, where the government said Tuesday that "the use of firearms to repel attacks with stones represents disproportionate use of force, particularly coming from authorities who have received specialized training."
It was the second death of a Mexican at the hands of Border Patrol officers in less than two weeks, and the case threatened to swell into a full-blown international incident when U.S. and Mexican officials traded suggestions of misconduct.
Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the Chihuahua Attorney General's office, said a spent 40-mm shell was found near the body — raising the question of whether the fatal shot was fired inside Mexico, although he did not explicitly make that suggestion. That would violate the rules for Border Patrol agents, who are supposed to stay on the U.S. side of the border.
A U.S. official, meanwhile, said video shows the Border Patrol agent did not enter Mexico.
The official, who agreed to discuss the matter only if not quoted by name, said the video also shows what seem to be four Mexican law enforcement officers driving to the edge of the dry but muddy bed of the Rio Grande, walking across to the U.S. side, picking up an undetermined object and returning to Mexico near the area where the boy's body was. Like their U.S. counterparts, Mexican law officers are not authorized to cross the border without permission.
According to the FBI, Border Patrol agents were responding to a group of suspected illegal immigrants being smuggled into the U.S. near the Paso Del Norte bridge, across from Ciudad Juarez around 6:30 p.m. Monday.
One suspected illegal immigrant was detained on the levee on the U.S. side, the FBI said in a statement. Another Border Patrol agent arrived on the concrete bank where the now-dry, 33-feet (10-meter) wide Rio Grande is, and detained a second suspect. Other suspects ran back into Mexico and began throwing rocks, the FBI said.
At least one rock came from behind the agent, who was kneeling beside the suspected illegal immigrant who he had prone on the ground, FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons said.
The agent told the rock throwers to stop and back off, but they continued. The agent fired his weapon several times, hitting one who later died, said the FBI, which is leading the investigation because it involved an assault on a federal officer. The agent was not injured, Simmons said.
Border Patrol Special Operations Supervisor Ramiro Cordero said preliminary reports showed Border Patrol agents on bicycle patrol "were assaulted with rocks by an unknown number of people."
Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said it "energetically condemns" the shooting and demanded "an expeditious and transparent investigation of the facts and, if applicable, punishment of the guilty."As far as I'm concerned, the only guilty parties left unpunished here are the other rock-throwers who didn't get shot. Not a single Mexican has anything to be angry over, since none of this would have happened had not the deceased and his pals set out to attack American law-enforcement officers on American soil. Frankly, it's precisely because of stuff like this than most of us want our border secured--Americans want protection against this sort of thuggery from Mexico's criminals. And if Mexicans don't want to be shot by our Border Patrol Agents, all they need to do is stay away from our border unless they're coming in legally with honest intent and everyone's problem will be solved.
"Mexico is aware of the existing risks in the region, but, according to international standards, lethal force must be used only when the lives of people are in immediate danger and not as a dissuasive measure," it said.
The department said its records indicated the number of Mexicans killed or wounded by immigration authorities rose from five in 2008 to 12 in 2009 to 17 so far this year, which is not half over.
T.J. Bonner, president of the union representing Border Patrol agents, said rock throwing aimed at Border Patrol agents are common and capable of causing serious injury.
"It is a deadly force encounter, one that justifies the use of deadly force," Bonner said.
The violence in Mexico combined with assaults on Border Patrol agents in the U.S. has increased the level of apprehension agents have about their safety, Bonner said.
Oh--and a "40mm casing"? I think not. .40 caliber, perhaps, but not 40mm.
Edited to add: Seems as if this little angel was a known smuggler and on a "most wanted" list. It hardly appears likely that he was just "hanging out" as his relatives claim, or taking a short-cut to choir practice.