Deathscapes

Impunity at the Border

Deathscapes

Impunity at the Border

The lack of justice in Anastasio’s case is by no means unique. There is clear lack of accountability when it comes to deadly use of force by border enforcement agents. Indeed, CBP officers and the Border Patrol agents basically operate with impunity.

In 2013, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) released a CBP commissioned report that reviewed the use of force by CBP agents and officers ( PERF Report). Focusing on 67 cases that occurred between January 2010 and October 2012, PERF found that in many instances deadly use of force was not justified. Despite these findings, CBP failed to discipline or take any legal action against the agents involved in questionable incidents.

In one rare case, the U.S. Department of Justice (as opposed to CBP) charged a Border Patrol agent, Lonnie Swartz, of shooting and killing an unarmed Mexican teenager, Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. Swartz shot the teenager 10 times, 8 in the back and 2 in the head. The agent claimed that he was simply defending himself and other agents from rocks being thrown by Jose Antonio and others. After a trial, jurors found Swartz not guilty of second-degree murder (Swartz Found Not Guilty).

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Poster of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez demanding justice.
Poster of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez demanding justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[imagecaption]Widely circulating poster of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. It is not clear who created it.[/imagecaption]

Protest in Tucson, Arizona in response to Lonnie Swartz's acquittal.
Protest in Tucson, Arizona in response to Lonnie Swartz’s acquittal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[imagecaption]Photo was posted on Facebook by Border Patrol Victims Network https://www.facebook.com/Border-Patrol-Victims-Network-Red-de-Victimas-de-la-Patrulla-Fronteriza-452623394841164/[/imagecaption]

 


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All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.

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