Things That Matter

Border Patrol Murdered A 15-Year-Old Boy In Mexico And Now The Supreme Court Will Hear The Case

The Supreme Court of the United States will hear a Mexican family’s case. In 2010, Sergio Hernandez was murdered by a United States border patrol agent — on Mexican soil along the southern border. His parents want to sue the man who shot and killed their teenage son, Jesus Mesa. 

SCOTUS will hear the case to decide if the family can sue, which will just begin the beginning of an uphill battle as the family will still have to prove Sergio’s constitutional rights were violated. Mesa, on the other hand, has claimed immunity as a government officer at work. He argues that there is no law that makes him liable and that foreigners murdered on foreign soil cannot sue U.S. officers for damages that occur abroad. 

Sergio Hernandez is killed by a U.S. border patrol agent in 2010.

The 15-year-old was shot to death by the agent as he hid behind a pillar in Mexico, according to CNN. Hernandez was hanging out with friends on a cement culvert that separates El Paso, Texas from Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. 

His parents claim he was playing a game where you cross the border, touch a fence, then run back onto Mexican soil. They believe Mesa arrived during the game and fatally shot their son. 

According to Messa, the boy was throwing rocks at him and he shot him when Hernandez when he refused to stop. The Justice Department did not bring a criminal charge against Mesa in 2012. 

“I want justice. This officer cannot be allowed to continue, because there’ll be another young victim, then another and another,” Maria Guereca told NPR in 2017

According to El Paso Times, the shooting was recorded on a video with a cellphone. There was a great public outcry, including protests in 2010. 

“We are very concerned about the message and the precedent it is sending throughout the border and the nation,” Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights said. “It might be telling us that the actions by the Border Patrol, not only mistreatment and killings, go unpunished and there is no accountability.”

Hernandez’s family says his constitutional rights were violated.

According to Quartz, the family believes his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unconstitutional governmental searches and seizures was violated — his death being the “seizure” in this case.  

The first time the family tried to have their case heard by SCOTUS it was remanded to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled that the family could not sue citing “special factors” like national security and diplomatic concerns. However, the family petitioned again and got it. They argued that suing the agent would not challenge law enforcement policies, immigration law or affect the United States’ diplomatic relationship with Mexico. 

Lawyers of Mexico filed a “friend of the court brief,” according to CNN, where they argue that US border agencies have killed dozens of individuals at the border and pled the justices to take the case. 

“When agents of the United States government violate fundamental rights of Mexican nationals and others within Mexico’s jurisdiction, it is a priority to Mexico to see that the United States has provided adequate means to hold the agents accountable and to compensate the victims,” they wrote. 

The solicitor general insists the family cannot sue. SCOTUS will finally weigh in. 

Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in court briefs that, “imposing a damages remedy on aliens injured abroad by US government officials would implicate foreign-policy considerations that are committed to the political branches” and that inserting the courts into matters of international diplomacy would, “risk undermining the government’s ability to speak with one voice in international affairs.”

While Francisco believes the court should hear the case because lower courts have been split on the matter, he is hoping SCOTUS will affirm the lower court’s decision to block the family from suing. 

Mexico argues SCOTUS must take the case to address excessive force at the border. In a brief, they remind of the justices of international human rights obligations. 

“The decision below failed to take account of the binding international human rights obligations that the United States has undertaken by treaty to Mexico and its nationals. Those include, among others, the obligation to respect the fundamental right not to be arbitrarily deprived of life and the right to an effective remedy when fundamental rights have been violated,” the government stated.

“A nation’s obligations to respect human rights do not stop at its borders but apply anywhere that the nation exercises effective control.”

While it has taken nearly a decade, SCOTUS will now decide if the actions of individuals carried out abroad have consequences on American soil. The outcome will set a new precedent and will have serious outcomes for how agents treat immigrants in the future. 

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This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

Things That Matter

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

via Getty Images

In the town of Ayahualtempa, Mexico, in the state of Guerrero, reporters see a shocking image whenever they visit. Children armed with guns, trained to defend themselves. The disturbing scene is meant to be shocking. The village of Ayahualtempa is under constant attack. A prominent heroin “corridor”, they are the victims of violence and carnage at the hands of gangsters and the cartel.

In order to gain the Mexican government’s attention, the Ayahualtempa villagers dress their children up as soldiers. Then, they invite the media in.

Ayahualtempa
via Getty Images

When reporters arrive, the children of Ayahualtempa dutifully line up and put on a performance. They march, they show how they would shoot a gun from one knee, or from flat on their bellies. They tell reporters that their mock-violent performance is “so the president sees us and helps us,” as a 12-year-old child named Valentín told the Associated Press.

Because the Mexican government doesn’t protect Ayahualtempa, the display of child soldiers is a form of protest for the small indigenous village. The people of this remote region of Guerrero want protection from the National Guard, and financial help for widows and orphans who have been made so from organized crime.

The villagers don’t trust local authorities, and for good reason. Guerrera is the Mexican state in which 43 teaching students were abducted and killed in an event that is known as the “Iguala mass kidnapping”. Authorities arrested 80 suspects in connection to the event. 44 of them were police officers, working in conjunction with a network of cartels.

Although the demonstrations function largely as a publicity stunt, violence is very much a part of these children’s lives.

via Getty Images

Parents train their children to walk to school with loaded guns, ready to defend themselves against violent gangsters.

The attention-grabbing antics have, to some extent, worked. On one occasion, the government donated some housing material. On another, benefactors gave the community’s orphans and widows scholarships and houses. But as soon as the periodic media storms die down, the federal government continues pretending Ayahualtempa doesn’t exist.

The hypocrisy of the government’s response is frustrating to many. “We’ve normalized that these children don’t eat, are illiterate, are farm workers. We’re used to the Indians dying young, but, ‘How dare they arm them!’” said local human rights activist Abel Barrera to the AP, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

As for now, until the government moves to protect the community, they say they will continue their demonstrations. “They see that the issue of the children is effective for making people take notice and they think: If that’s what works, we’ll have to keep doing it,” said Barrera.

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Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Entertainment

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Pokémon fans in Latin America are mourning the death of Diana Pérez, the Spanish-language voice of Jessie of Pokémon’s Team Rocket. The voice actress has been voicing the character since 1997.

Diana Pérez, the voice actress of Team Rocket’s Jessie, died at 51.

Lalo Garza, a famed voice actor in Mexico, confirmed the death of the Pokémon voice actress.

“Rest in peace Diana Pérez, a strong, cultured, intelligent, and very talented woman. You are good now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip,” reads the tweet.

Pérez has been a staple in the Spanish-language Pokémon fandom for decades.

Pérez was more than just he voice of Jessie. The voice actress was the voice of multiple anime characters including Luffy in One Piece and Kagura in Inuyasha. In recent years, Pérez had started branching out to directing, producing, and other branches in the entertainment industry.

Pérez’s death is being mourned by Pokémon fans outside of the Spanish-language fandom.

Sarah Natochenny is the English voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon series, Jessie’s mortal enemy. The death of Pérez has impacted the larger Pokémon community. Pérez was a pivotal part of the Latin American Pokémon community for decades and her loss has devastated fans.

Descansa en paz, Diana.

There have been no plans announced for a replacement to voice Team Rocket’s Jessie. No official cause of death has been released either. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Pérez’s family and the greater Pokémon community mourning her passing.

READ: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out This Mexican Pokémon

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