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USA/Mexico: Shooting of 14-year-old boy - full investigation needed

Amnesty International today condemned the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old Mexican boy by a US border patrol officer, who fired across the border at a group of young Mexicans reportedly throwing stones.

The officer allegedly opened fire on the group from the US side of Paso del Norte border crossing in the centre of Mexican city Ciudad Juarez on 7 June, killing secondary school student Sergio Adrián Hernández, who lived in the city.         

Amnesty International Americas Director Susan Lee said:

“This shooting across the border appears to have been a grossly disproportionate response and flies in the face of international standards which compel police to use firearms only as a last resort, in response to an immediate, deadly threat that cannot be contained through lesser means.”

Border patrol officers had been responding to a group of “suspected illegal aliens”, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the US investigation into the killing. The FBI said an agent “fired his weapon several times” after some suspects ran back across the border into Mexico while refusing to stop throwing rocks.

Amnesty is calling for a full, impartial and transparent investigation into the incident, which comes less than two weeks after the death of a Mexican immigrant who was Tasered by US border police while being deported at the San Yisidro border crossing in California.

The organisation also calls for an urgent review by the Department of Homeland Security of the use of force by Border Patrol and immigration police, with stricter standards being imposed on the use of firearms and electro-shock weapons.

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