On Friday, Community members gathered on the busy intersection in front of the federal building in McAllen to protest the murder of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka, the second Mexican civilian murdered by US Border Patrol within the span of two weeks.
On Tuesday June 8, in Ciudad Juarez, a Border Patrol agent fatally shot the 15-year-old near the El Paso del Norte bridge that joins Juarez and El Paso, Texas. The boy’s sister, Rosario, told Associated Press Television News that her brother was playing with several friends and did not plan to cross the border.
The protest, organized by the Southwest Workers’ Union, denounced the use of excessive and deadly force against unarmed working people and youth, which is a violation of our human rights and has led to death and the suffering of families.
When asked how she felt upon hearing of Huereka’s death, community member Cruz said, “Bad, because you also have kids.” She said that parents can only imagine how it feels to lose a child. “It is unjust what they are doing to us, and only because we come to work.”
The US Department of Justice said that it would launch an investigation concerning civil rights violations. The El Paso-based Border Network for Human Rights, an 11-year-old community organization that works for comprehensive immigration reform and accountable and responsible border policy, said that they will do all they can to ensure justice is served. In a statement released Tuesday, BNHR Director Fernando Garcia said the Network “will follow these developments closely and is preparing a series of activities to bring about justice and accountability.”
The most recent violence was made public only two weeks after President Obama announced 1,200 National Guard troops to be sent to the US-Mexico border. According to Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department, there were 5 deaths and injuries on the border due to the Border Patrol in 2008, increasing to 12 in 2009 and now 17 in the first 6 months of 2010. The increased militarization of the border coupled with anti-immigrant hostility means that this trend is sure to increase.