Shouldn’t Throw Stones

Imagine that: America shoots Mexicans who throw rocks across the border. (Via Jungle Trader)

So, I guess we can’t criticize anyone else in the unenviable position of having to protect themselves from hostile stone throwers, should that occasion ever arise.

The Department of Homeland Security is examining its policy on deadly force along the U.S.-Mexico border. In less than two years, U.S. Border Patrol agents have killed 18 Mexican citizens there — including eight people who were throwing rocks.

Last month, Border Patrol agents responded to a report of two drug smugglers jumping the fence between the twin cities of Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora. As the agents approached, a group of people on the Mexican side began throwing rocks. The Border Patrol says the agents told the people to stop. When they didn’t, one agent opened fire.

Within days, news outlets in Tucson and Phoenix identified the victim: 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodríguez. The teen, who was not one of the smugglers, was shot numerous times through the fence, on Mexican soil.

It was not an isolated incident. Since 2010, six of the eight people killed by Border Patrol agents while throwing rocks were on the Mexican side of the border.

Border Patrol didn’t respond to a request for comment, but it says rocks have caused hundreds of injuries to agents in just the last year. The agency is on the record saying it considers rock-throwing to be deadly force, which sometimes demands the same in response.

The Border Patrol has vehicles reinforced with cages to protect agents from rocks. Critics question why agents don’t use rubber bullets or just get out of range of the rocks.

Maybe the shootings were justified, maybe they weren’t; I wouldn’t know. But to tell border agents to leave the vicinity of the border—the patrol and defense of which is their sole job—is absurd. How about not throwing stones, Mexicans?

And any other people who routinely put others (and themselves) in danger by engaging in such a reckless activity?

2 Comments »

  1. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    November 25, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    I want the international community to become involved in this immediately. US thugs killing youths who are only throwing stones? Where is CNN? MSNBC? I am completely horrified. I believe that the UN Human Rights Commission needs to weigh in on this immediately.

    - Aggie

  2. Joe said,

    November 26, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    I recently watched a documentary on the US road borders and was absolutely staggered to find that the people crossing the border in their cars do not need passports and visas.If I cross from South Africa into any of the neighbouring countries such as Lesotho,Mozambique,Namibia,Botswana,Zimbabwe or Swaziland .I am obliged to get out of the car with the ( original ) vehicle registration documents, show my passport and visa ( if required ) pay a fee and then get escorted to my vehicle where the vehicle is gone over thoroughly.I am not for one minute saying that our borders are tight far from it but the US borders (Canada and Mexico ) are absolutely open.The traffic volumes should not be an excuse to lower entry requirements.No wonder there is an illegal immigration crisis! where is the wall ???

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