The New York Times reports on the death of Anastacio Hernández-Rojas, a Mexican man who was struck with a baton and shocked with a stun gun by federal officers as he resisted deportation two weeks ago. San Diego police are investigating the death.
The Mexican government and a human rights group have condemned the Mexican man’s death, “which comes,” the Times adds helpfully, “after Mexico has condemned Arizona’s tough new immigration enforcement law.” Mexican officials say they were troubled by reports in the Mexican press, which said witnesses on the Mexican side of the border saw officers kick and beat Mr. Hernández-Rojas. Family members told the American Friends Services Committee, a human rights group, that Mr. Hernández-Rojas had lived in San Diego since he was 14 and had five American-born children. He was the father of several American citizens!
And that’s not all. Mexican authorities are angry again this week over the shooting death of a Mexican teenager on Monday night by a Border Patrol agent. The FBI is investigating the death and reports that the agent had been under attack by rock-throwing “migrants” attempting to cross into El Paso, Texas.
That controversial Arizona law again appears to have something to do with the “migrant’s” death: “The government of the Mexican state of Chihuahua condemned the killing of the teenager, Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, 15, calling it a blow to all Mexicans and an example of the xenophobia that the anti-immigration law in Arizona has fomented in the United States.”
Actually, fear of rocks — I believe the term of art would be silicophobia — has more to do with the the Mexican teenager’s death than xenophobia:
American officials described the shooting as an act of self defense. Several agents were on a bike patrol in the concrete channel alongside the Rio Grande at about 6:30 p.m. Monday when they encountered a group of suspected illegal immigrants entering the United States. After two suspects were arrested, others in the group fled just across the border to Mexico and began throwing rocks at the agents, the FBI said in a statement. One agent fired several shots and hit the victim, who died at the base of the Paso Del Norte international bridge, officials said.
The Border Patrol says it is subjected to hundreds of rock attacks during its patrols and takes them seriously. From October 2007 to the end of May 2008, there were 537 rock-throwing incidents involving agents, officials said. That number dropped to 460 the following year and then rose to 604 incidents in the most recent reporting period, which ended on May 31.
“There’s a misperception people have that we’re having pebbles thrown at us,” said Mark Qualia, a United States Customs and Border Protection spokesman in Washington. “They are stones the size of baseballs in some cases or half a brick. You can’t take this lightly.”
In the precincts of the United Nations there have not as yet been any calls for an international investigation of these deaths. President Obama has not yet asserted that “everybody…certainly people here in the United States, want to know the facts of this tragedy — what led to it, how can we prevent it in the future.” Americans would not take kindly to calls for such an investigation. One suspects that even the Obama administration would resist them at attacks on the defense of the United States or at the least as intrusions on the sovereignty of the United States, as indeed they would be.