Anger, But No Shock at Border Patrol Shooting of Teen

By Julianne Hing Jun 08, 2010

Maria del Rosario and Maria Guadalupe Huereca, sister and mother of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca. Last night a 14-year-old boy named Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca on the Mexican side of the El Paso-Juarez border was shot and killed by a Border Patrol officer, who was on the U.S. side. Reports of the actual exchange vary; the FBI has called the incident an "assault" on the Border Patrol officer, while others have focused on the death of the unarmed boy. The shooting happened at 6:30 Monday night beneath the Puente Negro, an international bridge that crosses the Rio Grande. A group of teenagers who were trying to enter the United States were caught by Border Patrol, and depending on who you talk with, were either trying to escape from Border Patrol officers or were throwing rocks at them and assaulting them. "It is clear to us that Border Patrol agents do not use restraint," said Fernando Garcia, the executive director of the El Paso immigrant rights group Border Network for Human Rights. "We’re talking about a kid here." "We see a lot of rookie agents, because we are massively enforcing the border," Garcia added. "There are now 20,000 Border Patrol agents, and they are not being trained well to respect the lives of people." Garcia’s group is demanding a swift, thorough investigation to hold the agency and its officers responsible, but added that the problem stemmed from a larger, systemic policy issue. "We are holding the Obama administration accountable," he said. "Unfortunately, Obama is playing with politics. They have been exacerbating reality at the border."