Mexico protests “disproportionate” use of force in Border Patrol killing

Mexican and US authorities are investigating the death of a 14-year-old boy who was shot late June 7 near the Juárez-El Paso crossing, apparently by a US Border Patrol agent. Eyewitnesses said Sergio Hernández was playing with friends in a dry area of the river that forms the border. Crossing momentarily into the US with his friends, he was chased by a patrol agent. He ran back onto Mexican soil, hid behind a steel wall—and was shot in the head when looked out.

US officials say the shooting happened while agents were investigating a migrant smuggling incident. Lou Patch, a supervisory Border Patrol agent in El Paso, confirmed that at least one agent opened fire during the incident, and that the FBI has opened an investigation. Patch told AFP that agents were “performing bike patrol duties” on the bridge when they were “assaulted with rocks by an unknown number of people.”

Mexico strongly condemned the Border Patrol’s “disproportionate” use of force in the incident. “The use of firearms to repel attacks with stones represents a disproportionate use of force,” the Exterior Secretariat said in a statement. (AFP, KOB, Albuquerque, June 8)

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