Parents Say U.S. Killed Their Son in Mexico
EL PASO, Texas (CN) - A Border Patrol agent killed a 15-year-old Mexican boy, in Mexico, by shooting him in the face, and the FBI tried to cover up the senseless act by issuing "a false and reprehensible statement" claiming the boy had been throwing rocks at the agent, the boy's parents claim in Federal Court.
Jesus Hernandez and Maria Guadalupe Guereca Bentacour, the parents of the late Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, say their unarmed, defenseless son had been playing with friends at the border when the U.S. agent arrived and shot him in Mexican territory.
On Monday, June 7, 2010, Sergio "was spending the last few minutes of the day together with his friends in the all-but-dry cement culvert separating the sister countries of Mexico and the United States," his parents say.
The complaint continues: "Similar to the Native American Indian game 'counting coup,' Sergio and his friends would physically run up and touch the barbed-wire United States high fence, and then scamper back down the incline. They had no interest in entering the United States. Rather, in a scene as old as time, a group of young boys were simply ending their day laughing and playing under the gathering clouds of a evening summer thunderstorm, before heading back home for dinner and bed.
"Suddenly, a United States border agent emerged on his bicycle and detained one of the individuals, dragging the young boy along the concrete. Sergio retreated and stood still beneath the pillars of the Paso del Norte Bridge, observing the agent. The U.S. border agent then stopped, pointed his weapon across the border, seemingly taking careful aim, and squeezed the trigger at least twice, fatally wounding Sergio with at least one gunshot wound to the face. Sergio, who had been standing safely and legally on his native soil of Mexico, unarmed and unthreatening, lay dead on his back in his blue jeans and sneakers. He was fifteen years old.
"More U.S. border agents arrived on the scene, the shooter picked up his bicycle, and then they all left. No one took any action to render emergency medical aid to Sergio, leaving him dead or dying beneath Paso del Norte Bridge in the Territory of Mexico. Shortly thereafter, Mexican police arrived on scene and pronounced Sergio dead.
"Almost immediately, FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons, prior to discovering the existence of a disturbing video depicting much of the even, issued a false and reprehensible cover-up statement: 'This agent, who had the second subject detained on the ground, gave verbal commands to the remaining subjects to stop and retreat. However, the subject surrounded the agent and continued to throw rocks at him. The agent then fired his service weapon several times, striking one subject who later died.'"
Simmons claimed that "the agents were responding to a report of a group of suspected illegal aliens being smuggled into the U.S.," the El Paso Times reported the after the incident.
The parents say the John Doe Border Patrol agent used unnecessary and excessive deadly force, and that the defendant federal agencies "tolerated, condoned, and encouraged a pattern of brutality and use of excessive force."
The parents sued the United States of America, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Border Patrol and unknown agents, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice.
They demand damages for wrongful death, under the Federal and Tort Claims Act.
They are represented by Robert Hilliard with Hilliard Munoz Gonzales of Corpus Christi.