Another Mexican National Allegedly Shot by Border Patrol

One story that has been largely gone unnoticed in recent days is the death of Ramses Barron Torres — a 17-year-old Mexican national who was shot by a U.S. border patrol agent. At first, there were conflicting reports regarding the curious circumstances surrounding his death. Originally, a Mexican official reportedly said the teen died Wednesday after he fell from a border fence and hit his head on a rock. However, witnesses to the event claimed that Torres was shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan (shown here), said on Thursday that it now appears “to be clear that the death was the result of a gunshot wound.”

KGUN has shared the testimony of a friend and witness to Torres’ death:

“The moment I came from running from up here (USA) to down there (Mexico), that’s when you can hear the gunshot. I thought that they were shooting at me, but they weren’t. This is when Ramses yelled, ‘They hit me! They hit me! Help me!” explained Torres’s friend, Sergio, who did not want his full name revealed.

Sergio added that aside from climbing the fence to visit Ramses’s American girlfriend, the two did nothing else to provoke Border Patrol. His statements conflict with reports saying the boys threw rocks at the federal agents.

“We didn’t do any harm to them. We didn’t have any guns or nothing. We just had ourselves. I think they were just mad because they (Border Patrol) couldn’t catch us,” said Sergio.

Watch the report here.

The FBI, which is leading the investigation, has maintained that Border Patrol agents were attempting to arrest suspected drug smugglers near the fence when bystanders began throwing rocks at them, prompting an agent to fire at them. Nonetheless, the agent who fired the shot was placed on administrative leave.

Regardless of which side is right, the incident presents yet another disturbing case of what appears to be excessive force. This past summer, Anastacio Hernández, a father of five U.S. born children, was shot with a stun gun by a Customs and Border Protection Officer at the San Ysidro border crossing as he resisted being deported. While Customs and Border protection maintained their actions were necessary to “subdue the individual and maintain officer safety,” the San Diego County coroner ruled that his death was a homicide.

A few days later, a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed Sergio Adrián Hernández Huereca, a 14-year-old boy on the U.S. side of the Paso Del Norte bridge in El Paso, Texas who allegedly threw rocks at him.

Andrea NillAt the time, T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, claimed “deadly force” was a justified response. However, I still have a hard time understanding how young, unarmed kids throwing rocks merits a deadly firing of bullets in response.

Either way, it’s still unclear whether rock-throwing was even involved in last week’s incident. According to the Arizona Republic, newspapers on both sides of the border reported that the incident occurred in an area that is under video surveillance, which will hopefully clear up what is about to come yet another international controversy.

Andrea Nill

Republished with permission from the Wonk Room.

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Comments

  1. Elaine says

    I am sorry but I have got to say it. Mexico is one big crime area for everyone down there. The people cannot trust the police, their soldiers, the government or their President because they are all a bunch of crooks. Why people want to go to Cancun for a vacation is beyond me because there is a chance that your head will be cut off. I know a lot of people use to think that was a good inexpensive vacation and you only had to watch out for the police that were crooks. Not anymore. Now they all are crooks and a lot of all the people are killers.
    I think that since Warren Buffett wants to pay more in taxes that he should take the incentive to have a cement wall, something like the Berlin Wall, built the entire extent of border. If California wants to let them keep coming in then they can do that, just make sure they keep them there in California.

  2. Jane Smith says

    Listen, in downtown areas of California, kids that are Mexican think they should have a say in almost anything and they are illegal! I really don’t know why we were having Border Patrol shooting civilians, but when you are trying to stop drug dealings, and people are throwing rocks… I am glad we have Border Patrol. And why do we have people sneaking into our country while other countries are able to control this? We have legal Mexicans living in our country. They have taken the time to do it right. If we allow some nations to come into our country illegally doesn’t that make it a presidence for others to do the same? If you watch Wild Justice we have people who are in our country and do not respect our laws! People need to speak the language of the country and understand the laws as we would in their countries.

  3. MarshallR says

    In case anyone has forgotten, in 1776 there was a Revolution to form the USA. Mexico has plenty of resources to provide good jobs for it’s population; unfortunately, it appears to have an oppressive, dysfunctional government. Perhaps Mexicans should stay home and reform their government the same way George Washington and the others did in 1776. If anyone comes here illegally they run the risk of serious repurcussions…period.

  4. Paul McDermott says

    The 4th and 5th Amendments protect non-citizens from cruel and unusual punishment and excessive force. Mexican nationals are not “animals” and they are not all violent drug-runners. They need to be treated as humans and dealt with in a respectful manner.
    I see unfortunate parallels with the Israeli treatment of Palestinians. And that is the way the rest of the world has begun to view us.

  5. Blogger says

    Considering that the kingpin of drugs in Sinaloa, is a fearless bandido, I think the United States Border Patrol ought to be real
    careful of the repercussions.

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