Border Community Holds Vigil After Border Patrol Shoots, Kills Migrant
Monday, October 26, 2020
Photo by Max Rivlin-Nadler
On Sunday evening, in a light drizzle in San Ysidro, people marched in a slow procession to where Border Patrol agents shot and killed a Mexican citizen next to the border fence two days earlier.
According to a message posted by Border Patrol San Diego sector station chief Aaron Heitke, agents were apprehending a man as he was illegally entering the United States.
“During the arrest an altercation ensued, and the agent discharged his firearm, wounding the man,” Heitke said. He then went on to announce that the investigation into the shooting death will be led by the San Diego Police Department.
Those who attended Sunday's vigil were skeptical that the investigation would be done without the influence or tampering by the agency behind the shooting.
“We’re here to reclaim our dignity, as border community-members, to say that we want a thorough, independent investigation, and we want that assurance from the San Diego Police Department,” said Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee. “We want those accountable to be held accountable, and we want transparency in this.”
Many there pointed out the similarities between this shooting and the killing of Anastasio Hernández Rojas by CBP agents ten years ago at the same port of entry. No agents were held accountable for his death, and CBP agents were heavily involved in the investigation into the shooting.
Hernandez Rojas’s widow, María Puga, addressed the crowd.
“I’m very angry, very angry,” she told the crowd in Spanish. “That the immigration authorities continue to murder, that they don’t stop.”
She said this person, who has not yet been identified, was a human. And that his family could still be waiting for him to come home.
The San Diego Police Department says that as of Monday afternoon, it has no new updates on the investigation.
The Mexican Consulate in San Diego also issued a press release over the weekend, saying that it has been unable to locate the family of the man killed, and will be monitoring the investigation closely.
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