Sunday, May 30, 2010

US Border Patrol Leaves Mexican Brain Dead

Update: Anastasio Hernández Rojas died on May 31, 2010, of a heart attack.  Family members had complained that US authorities impeded their ability to visit him in the hospital and that they were having troubles getting permission to bring a priest to visit him.

From Revista EMET: "The dead migrant's brother, Pedro Pablo Hernández, said that when they were detained by immigration agents, an officer kicked him in the chest while he was seated on the ground handcuffed.  Anastacio tried to defend him.

35-year-old Anastasio Hernández Rojas resisted deportation through Puerta Mexico, Tijuana, so about twenty Border Patrol officers subdued him with beatings and electrical shock, leaving him unconscious.

by Julieta Martínez, El Universal

US doctors have diagnosed the Mexican migrant who was beaten by twenty Border Patrol agents as brain dead.  The Border Patrol agents beat him on Friday night when he tried to resist being deported through Puerta Mexico.

The man was identified as 35-year-old Anastasio Hernández Rojas.

According to witnesses, the incident occurred a few meters from the entrance to Tijuana, where he was waiting to be repatriated.

A border agent subdued him with a beating and electrical shocks, and later other officers joined in on the "punishment."  They kicked him until he was unconscious, according to witnesses. 

In a press release, the Border Patrol justified the incident, claiming that Hernández Rojas attacked one of its agents and did not obey the order to stop, which is why the again "had" to subdue him in order to control him.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate him, but the man did no respond and was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital.

A woman who was crossing into Tijuana alerted agents from the [Mexican] National Migration Institute that they were "practically killing a person," but the Mexican  officers could not intervene because the incident occurred out of their sight and they could only hear their countryman's cries for help.

The young man managed to crawl to Puerta Mexico, where the immigration agents and other people could witness the attack. 

Desperate, the witnesses screamed that they stop beating him.  The attack continued until the man stopped moving.

Personnel from the Mexican Consulate General in San Diego who went to Scripps Memorial Hospital confirmed Hernández Rojas' identity. 


American Friends Service Committee's national commissioner on migration, Christian Ramírez, condemned the act as "brutal," excessive force, and abuse of authority.

He said that the Mexican government ought to energetically protest so that incidents like these don't continue to happen.

He said that cases of police abuse and attacks are very frequent in San Diego and other parts of the country, and that it doesn't just affect undocumented migrants, but also people who legally reside in the United States.

Many other incidents of this sort that have resulted in someone's death have remained unpunished because the authorities who carried out the attack are the same ones who investigate it.
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