Their Son Was Killed On Mexican Soil By A Border Patrol Agent And They Want Justice
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on the case of Sergio Adrian Hernández Guereca. In 2010, the 15-year-old Mexican national was killed by Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr. The Mexican teen was shot in the head by Mesa Jr. while the former was standing on Mexican soil. The SCOTUS case could have serious implications on whether foreign nationals can sue U.S. officials for excessive force.
This was the scene at the U.S.-Mexico border between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, México, in 2010.
On June 7, 2010, Sergio Adrian Hernández Guereca was with four other Mexican teens on the border. According to The New York Times, the four boys started to take turns daring each other to run to the fence on the U.S. side and touch it. That was when Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr. decided to engage with the teens.
The sudden death of their 15-year-old son devastated the family.
Sergio’s mother spoke about how she was given information to keep her calm, but she knew better. Rather than just believing what authorities told her about her son, Maria made her way down to the Rio Grande and saw her son lying there dead.
Sergio’s death sparked outrage throughout Mexico because the teen was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agents while standing on Mexican soil.
“If the migrant is still on the Mexico side of the border, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for Border Patrol to engage with that migrant,” Tania Chozet, a policy advocate for the ACLU of New Mexico told SBCC Media. She continued, “It is Border Patrol’s policy to use lethal force in response to the throwing of a rock.”
Sergio’s family has said that they do not want money, they simply want justice. However, as a foreign national, their rights against U.S. officials are pretty limited.
“If ever a case could be said to present an official abuse of power so arbitrary as to shock the conscience, the Appellants have alleged it here,” the Fifth Circuit Appellant Court stated in their ruling, according to AZ Central. The court went further and said that the border between the U.S. and Mexico is subject to the Fifth Amendment, meaning Sergio’s family has the right to sue Mesa Jr. As the court states, the laws governing the U.S.-Mexico border are the same as the laws governing Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The story of Sergio’s death is becoming a more frequent tale, with other teenagers being killed in Mexico by bullets flying from Border Patrol guns in the U.S.
You can read the full story here.