Monday, June 28, 2010

Innocent teen shot by over zealous border guards?

An innocent teen shot by over zealous border guards. That was the spin, complete with accusations of racism from immigrant rights groups and protests from the Mexican government.

Of course, the truth is different.

A 15-year-old Mexican boy shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent was among El Paso's most wanted juvenile immigrant smugglers, according to federal arrest records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The records show Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka had been arrested at least four times since 2008 and twice in the same week in February 2009 on suspicion of smuggling illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. Hernandez was repeatedly arrested along the U.S. side of the border near downtown El Paso, not far from where he was killed, but was never charged with a crime by federal persecutors.

A Border Patrol agent shot and killed Hernandez June 7 while trying to arrest illegal immigrants crossing the muddy bed of the Rio Grande. Some witnesses said a group of people on the Mexican side were throwing rocks at the agents. Agents are generally permitted to use lethal force against rock throwers.

The records show that in at least one case Hernandez was to be paid $50 a person for smuggling four people into the U.S.

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