Civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agents are increasing even though illegal immigration and assaults against agents are down. This was the conclusion of a months-long investigation by nonprofit media organizations into incidents in three border states. Reporters identified at least 14 men and boys who have died since Oct. 1, 2009, after confrontations with Border Patrol agents. This special report illuminates serious questions about follow up and accountability.
About this Project
Deadly Patrols is an investigative collaboration among nonprofit journalism organizations Investigative Newsource and KPBS, in San Diego, the Texas Observer in Austin, the PBS TV-Web newsmagazine Need to Know and The Investigative Fund at Investigative News Network, a national membership organization of journalism nonprofits.
Part 2: Challenges to Prosecution
Take a map of Arizona, draw a square in the bottom right hand corner -- the one closest to New Mexico and the international border -- and you get Cochise County. Fewer people live here than in many cities, and it’s part of the nation’s most active illegal immigration corridor.
Civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agents are increasing even though illegal immigration and assaults against agents are down. A collaboration among nonprofit media organizations identified at least 14 men and boys who have died since 2010. Click on their photos for specific information.
Part 1: The One Who Lived To Tell
About one and a half years ago, Jesus Castro Romo was trying to sneak into the United States through Arizona’s hilly backcountry when a Border Patrol agent on horseback spotted his group of about 12 travelers. They scattered. The agent zeroed in on Castro.
Behind the scenes
A trip to Nogales
iNewsource reporter Roxana Popescu talks about the trip down to Nogales, Mexico, meeting Jesus Castro Romo, and trekking to the Arizona desert in part one of our three-part behind the scenes blog.
A rise in "rockings"
iNewsource reporter Roxana Popescu talks about the rise in "rockings" — instances of CBP personnel being assaulted with rocks while apprehending people crossing the border illegally.
Difficulties in prosecutions
Reporter Roxana Popescu describes an interview with an Arizona county prosecutor regarding the difficulties in prosecuting law enforcement