An autopsy report released to the media Thursday proves that 16 year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was wantonly and maliciously murdered by a still unidentified US Border Patrol agent as he was walking along a street in Nogales Sonora that parallels the border fence.
The report, provided to media outlets by the attorney for the boys parents, Luis Parra was conducted by medical examiners in Mexico and describes several other wounds, but it’s unclear if they account for additional bullets, graze wounds or shrapnel. The report does show that Rodriguez suffered 8 bullet wounds, all but one entering his back.
In what could be the understatement of the century, “I’m not saying it’s a clear case of excessive force, but it is a very strong case for excessive use of force,” Parra said. “The Border Patrol agent who was firing could have easily taken cover.”
In all of the recent cases of Border Patrol agents murdering Mexican nationals, the agents could have backed away, taken cover or at the extreme, used non lethal force but instead chose to do the “macho” thing, and murder the subject, knowing full well that in the current Border Patrol culture, the ridiculous claim of “rock throwing” would protect them from prosecution, and indeed, to some, make them “heroes”.
As we reported in October when this murder occurred,
Agents had responded to reports of two suspected drugs smugglers near the border at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The agents watched the two abandon a load of narcotics, then run back to Mexico, according to the Border Patrol. An 8 foot barb wire topped fence separates the border in this location.
People on the south side of the border fence then allegedly began throwing rocks at the agents and ignored orders to stop, according to a self serving boilerplate release from the Border Patrol.. One agent indiscriminately opened fire shooting 16 year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in the back. Rodriguez was across International Boulevard from the border when he was shot. A medical clinic the boy was standing in front of showed more than half a dozen bullet strikes from the agents weapons.
Unlike some of the other recent murders by US Border Patrol Agents of Mexican citizens on sovereign Mexican soil, this incident was captured by Department of Homeland Security surveillance cameras. That video, despite repeated FOI requests, has not been released to the media.
However, in the photo shown here of the area from where the agent reportedly fired is on a hill, approximately 10-15 feet above Calle Internacional in Nogales, Sonora, where Rodríguez was found dead on a sidewalk. The border fence rises another 25 feet, creating a challenging angle for a rock-thrower trying to throw over the barrier and hit an agent. However, a well-aimed toss could breach the fence through one of the 4-inch gaps in the bollard-style structure. “Rock throwers” generally are not “well aimed” as it is a reaction to increasing frustration at the terror tactics of some US Border Patrol agents on the southwest border.
And it would have taken a well trained sharpshooter with a .40 caliber weapon, to have the ability to place more than 14 shots through the same 4 inch gap hitting the teen 7 times in the back, once in the head and leaving more than a dozen bullet strikes on the facade of a medical clinic the boy was walking in front of when he was murdered in cold blood. There is no other way to describe it and the autopsy report proves that.
According to the attorney, Luis Parra, Rodriguez was your typical 16 year teenager, being raised by a single mother who had lost her husband a couple of years previously.
Rodriguez had no juvenile criminal record and was in the process of completing his secondary education in hopes of joining the Mexican military.
Part of Rodriguez’s motivation to enlist and get out of Nogales stemmed from recent personal difficulties.
Following his father’s death, Rodriguez’s mother moved to the Guaymas area for a job. Rodriguez stayed in Nogales with his grandparents, who lived in the barrio known as La Capilla a few block from the site of the shooting.
His older brother worked at a local Oxxo convenience store, and Rodriguez would often walk to the store to meet his brother prior to ending his shift at midnight, Parra said.
Rodriguez could quite possibly have been walking toward that Oxxo to help out his 19-year-old brother as he was closing his shift” on Wednesday not knowing his life was about to end at the hands of a rogue, out of control Border Patrol agent who shot the boy simply because he knew he could.
U.S. government investigators are reviewing Border Patrol policies on use of lethal force amid a spate of deadly shootings in recent years. The probe by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General involves a review of accusations of brutality and excessive force.
As usual, spokesman for the US Border Patrol are refusing comment on this latest development and the Border Patrol Union is doing it’s usual thing to sweep this incident “under the rug” so to speak.
It’s time for this agent, and his accomplices to be identified, indicted and tried for this senseless murder of another apparently innocent Mexican civilian.