Amnesty International Condemns U.S. Border Patrol?s Fatal Shooting of Mexican Teenager

Press Release
June 9, 2010

Amnesty International Condemns U.S. Border Patrol?s Fatal Shooting of Mexican Teenager

Amnesty International Condemns U.S. Border Patrol’s Fatal Shooting of Mexican Teenager

Amnesty International today condemned the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old Mexican boy by a U.S. border patrol officer, who fired across the border at a group of young Mexicans that were reportedly throwing stones.

The officer allegedly opened fire on the group from the U.S. side of Paso del Norte border crossing in the center of Mexican city Ciudad Juarez on June 7, killing secondary school student Sergio Adrián Hernández, who lived in the city.

"This shooting across the border appears to have been a grossly disproportionate response and flies in the face of international standards that compel police to use firearms only as a last resort, in response to an immediate, deadly threat that cannot be contained through lesser means," said Susan Lee, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Border patrol officers had been responding to a group of "suspected illegal aliens," according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is leading the U.S. investigation into the killing.

The FBI said an agent "fired his weapon several times" after some suspects ran back across the border into Mexico while refusing to stop throwing rocks.

Amnesty International is calling for a full, impartial and transparent investigation into the incident, which comes less than two weeks after the death of a Mexican immigrant who was tasered by U.S. border police while being deported at the San Yisidro border crossing in California.

The organization also calls for the Department of Homeland Security to conduct an urgent review of the use of force by Border Patrol and immigration police, with stricter standards being imposed on the use of firearms and electro-shock weapons.