Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Questions on Border Patrol Shooting of Mexican Rock-Thrower


From today's Los Angeles Times, the only daily American news organization that seems to be interested in doing reporting on the latest incident where U.S. Border Patrol agents fired fatal gunshots at rock-throwing Mexicans on the other side of the border:

"Sonora state police released a statement saying they found Elena Rodriguez's body, "with various gunshot wounds on different parts of the body," shortly after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, lying next to the curb on Calle Internacional, a street that runs along the border fence. The body was found four blocks from the border crossing in downtown Nogales, at a spot where there is roughly a 10-foot vertical drop from the base of the fence to the street below."

And the latest questions would be:

--Where specifically was the body found, and how far from the fence? The report cited above is somewhat unclear.

--Where was the Border Patrol agent who fired those shots positioned, specifically?

--Did other Border Patrol agents fire into, or at, the crowd across the border?

The other questions, of course, are as outlined here in recent days: 

--Why didn't the Border Patrol agents simply retreat from the physical threat posed by the rock-throwers, rather than firing into the group across the border? The agents weren't "pinned down." Presumably, they could have moved to a position on the U.S. side beyond the ability of the assailants to throw a rock that could hit them. 

--How many shots were fired by the Border Patrol? Mexican authorities now say the dead teenager's body had seven bullet wounds, and that more than a dozen bullets also hit a medical building on the Mexican side of the border. According to The Nogales International, a twice-weekly paper in Nogales, Ariz., that has been aggressively covering the story, the Nogales, Sonora, mayor said that the 16-year-old was killed in a "hail of bullets."

--What is the specific operative law or regulation that the Border Patrol is citing to justify these incidents of firing across the border at rock-throwers?

--What is the identity of the agent who fired the fatal shots? What is the current status of that agent?

UPDATE Oct. 15 -- The Nogales International, a twice weekly newspaper in Nogales, Ariz., has been singularly covering this story as it should be covered. From today's report, this information on the physical site of the incident: (italics mine)

"The physical location of the shooting has raised questions as well. The area from where the agent reportedly fired is on a hill, approximately 10-15 feet above Calle Internacional in Nogales, Sonora, where [the teenager] was found dead. The border fence rises another 25 feet, creating a challenging angle for a rock-thrower trying to throw over the barrier and hit an agent. However, a well-aimed toss could breach the fence through one of the 4-inch gaps in the bollard-style structure."

Not addressed in that last assertion is, again, why the agents could not simply have retreated to a spot beyond the ability of any "well-aimed toss" that somehow breaches the fence through four-inch gaps in the posts to physically reach them -- given that the rock-throwers were confined to the other side of the border.


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