Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mother of Slain Mexican Teen Sues U.S. Border Patrol Agents

Araceli Rodriguez, the mother of slain Mexican teen Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, filed a federal lawsuit in Arizona to pursue justice for her son, who was killed nearly two years ago by U.S. Border Patrol agents, identified only as John Does in the lawsuit. She is demanding a jury hear evidence about the unlawful actions of these unknown agents.

On the night of Oct. 10, 2012, after playing basketball with friends in his neighborhood of Nogales, Mexico, 16-year-old Jose Antonio was walking home alone when he was shot approximately 10 times through the border fence by unknown Border Patrol agents. Virtually all of the bullets that struck Jose Antonio entered his body from behind. He died on the sidewalk, in a pool of blood, about four blocks from home. When he was shot, Jose Antonio was walking along Calle Internacional, a main road that runs parallel to the border fence. He was walking on the far side of the street, about 25 feet away from the sheer cliff on which the border fence is built. At the location where Jose Antonio was shot, the top of the fence towers approximately 40-50 feet above the street level. At the time he was shot, Jose Antonio posed no threat to U.S. Border Patrol agents or anyone else.

For her son’s unjustified killing, Araceli Rodriguez is seeking damages, including punitive damages. In addition to Gelernt and Parra, she is represented by Roberto C. Montiel of the Roberto Montiel Law Offices in Nogales, Ariz.; Dan Pochoda and James Lyall of the ACLU of Arizona; Andre Segura, Dror Ladin, and Cecillia Wang of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Mitra Ebadolahi of the ACLU of San Diego and Border Litigation Project; Arturo Gonzalez and Hector Suarez of Morrison and Foerster LLP.

For the complete ACLU press release, click here.


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