These Families Need $5,000 To Witness Supreme Court Hearing Over The Deaths Of Their Children By Border Patrol
On Nov. 12, the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments for the case of a Border Patrol agent killing a teenager on Mexican soil. Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca was doing what 15-year-old Mexican boys do. He was playing a game with friends on Mexican soil when he was shot in the head by border guard Jesus Mesa Jr from U.S. soil. This happened on June 7, 2010, and has no legal precedent, which is why it’s taken over nine years for a final decision to be determined. In less than a week, Hernández v. Mesa could decide how seriously U.S. officers treat non-citizens across the border, and if those non-citizens will be granted monetary redress for their loss.
The families bringing the case forward are using a GoFundMe to raise $5,500 to both make it to the hearing, but also participate in speaking engagements to raise awareness around border violence.
The presence of the parents will create significantly more media coverage for the victims of border violence.
“Over the past 15 years, more than 100 people have been killed by US Border Patrol as a direct result of their excessive use of force. Not one agent has ever been held accountable,” the GoFundMe states. “This systematic pattern of injustice guarantees impunity to US state agents for the criminalization and annihilation of people of color, indigenous, refugees and migrants, both inside and outside of the United States.”
The GoFundMe will allow for Guadalupe Güereca (Sergio Adrian’s mom) and Taide Zojo and Araceli Rodríguez (José Antonio’s grandmother and mother respectively) to be transported, housed, and fed in Washington D.C. for the oral arguments. The money will also help pay for the costs associated with their week-long speaking engagement tour on behalf of victims of border violence. Frankly, the budget set out seems conservative. On the GoFundMe, they list an expected $900 to pay for food for 4 people for 9 days. That’s $25 per person per day, a feat for anyone who has lived or visited the Washington area.
The GoFundMe has raised $3,775 in one week, but the case is being heard in just five days.
It’s not just the Hernández Güereca family that is showing up to demand justice for their child. José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, 16, was shot sixteen times and killed in Nogales, Sonora, by U.S. Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz on Oct. 10, 2012. The agent shot the teenager from the U.S. side of the border in Nogales, Arizona. “Like Mesa, Swartz has not faced any accountability,” the GoFundme states. Swartz said he shot the 16-year-old sixteen times because he was throwing rocks at Border Patrol officers.
For the record, any non-citizen who is shot on the U.S. border can absolutely seek redress thanks to Bivens v. Six Unknown Unnamed Agents, which allows any person who has been injured by a U.S. law enforcement officer to sue for damages.
An anonymous donor offered to match every donation up to $2,000.
On Nov. 5, the organizer shared the exciting news that every donation will be matched, thanks to an anonymous donor. “This is an incredible opportunity for people to double the impact of their contribution as we seek justice, accountability, and an end to US-led state violence against our communities,” they write.
“With any funds over our $5,500 goal, we will do two things,” the campaign organizer shared, along with the good news. The “extra” money will help “provide financial support to Guadalupe, Araceli, and Taide, who have to miss work in order to travel. Whatever is left over will help “support their next trip to DC, so they can return to the Supreme Court when the verdict is announced in a few months. We need your help! If you have the resources, please donate!”
The families also want you to share the GoFundMe, and use the hashtags #USMurderPatrol #JusticeForSergioAdrian and #JusticeForJoseAntonio to raise awareness.
Sergio Adrián would be 24 years old today. Jose Antonio would be 23 years old. “Peace and healing are not possible without justice,” the organizers write. “Justice is impossible without accountability which includes reparations for the victims, and guarantees of legal recourse for violence committed by U.S. agents and targeted at communities outside of U.S. borders. The victims of U.S.-led and sanctioned state violence are counting on you to end these egregious patterns of violence and the structures that uphold them,” the organizers emphasize.