Channel 8 News / June 24, 2011
In response to a deadly Border Patrol shooting by this week in the Tijuana River Valley, Mexico’s president confronted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the incident, and later demanded punishment for whomever was responsible.
An investigation is underway to determine exactly where 40-year–old Jose Yanez Reyes was shot when he allegedly tried to cross the border Tuesday night into the United States.
“This is an international incident,” said immigrants rights activist Enrique Morones, founder of Border Angels.
That shooting death of a Mexican national by a U.S. border patrol agent later sparked a confrontation between Mexico’s president Felipe Calderon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a security summit earlier this week.
Afterward, Calderon tweeted in Spanish, “In Guatemala I protested to Secretary Clinton about the death of the Mexican in Tijuana. I demanded punishment for those responsible.”
This call for answers has been echoed by human rights groups on both sides of the border.
“The ACLU is calling on Congress to get Border patrol to come clean on its policies and look at reforms to stop killing people needlessly,” said Kevin Keenan, president of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
According to investigators, 40-year-old Jose Yanez Reyes and two other migrants allegedly crossed from Tijuana into the U.S. Tuesday night and began throwing rocks at border patrol agents, striking one of them in the head.
According to Tijuana police, Reyes was shot in the head and torso, and died in Mexico.
Border Angels and other groups that advocate for immigrants’ rights are calling for an independent investigation.
“Just imagine if it had been the other way around, the Tijuana police shooting across the border into the United States and killing a U.S. Citizen,” said Morones. “How would the U.S. be responding? So Mexico has every right to respond in a furious manner.”
“Border Patrol should be using less than lethal force, should be using different tactics,” Keenan told News 8. “They shouldn’t be taking human lives when these folks are throwing rocks.”
In response to Mexican president Calderon’s comments to Secretary of State Clinton, a state department spokesman said “we regret the loss of life and take any such incidents seriously.” He declined to comment on Calderon’s interaction with Clinton.
The name of the border patrol agent who shot Reyes has not been released, although San Diego police have identified him as a three-year-veteran of the agency.
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