Oxymoronic Offer From Feds About Slain Teen

     TUCSON (CN) – The mother of a Mexican teenager whom a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed through a border fence says she has received an odd offer in her wrongful-death case.
     Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was shot 10 times through a border fence as he walked home one October night in 2012 along Calle Internacional, a street in Nogales, Sonora, that runs parallel to the border.
     The boy’s mother, Araceli Rodriguez, filed suit this past July to learn the name of the responsible agent.
     She told the court Monday that relief is at hand, but with a major caveat.
     U.S. Customs and Border Protection, through the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico, has agreed to provide her with the name of the agent who shot her son, and the name of that agent’s attorney, according to the five-page filing.
     “But the government would only provide the name of the Border Patrol agent if plaintiff agreed to file the amended complaint under seal pending a ruling by this court on whether the name could remain under seal,” Rodriguez told the court.
     Since Rodriguez “actually opposes filing the amended complaint under seal, even temporarily,” she noted that the offer has put Rodriguez in the “procedurally odd posture.”
     “Plaintiff is filing her First Amended Complaint and requesting that it be filed under seal temporarily to prevent public disclosure of the identity of defendant, a U.S. Border Patrol agent,” the motion states (emphasis in original). “But plaintiff actually opposes filing the amended complaint under seal, even temporarily. Plaintiff is filing the amended complaint under seal only as part of an agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for New Mexico, which asked that the identity of defendant remain under seal until this court decides whether the sealing is proper.”
     Rodriguez told the court that “permitting defendant to proceed anonymously would be contrary to the public’s right of access to judicial proceedings and unwarranted in this case.”
     Along with her motion to seal the amended complaint temporarily, Rodriguez also requested an “order requiring defendant to show cause why the name of the agent should remain under seal.”
     Rodriguez, a Mexican citizen, is represented by the ACLU and local attorneys, including Luis Parra of Nogales, Ariz., who did not immediately return a request for comment.

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