Last week, aside from all the hoopla over the World Cup, the biggest news story in Mexico was not the ongoing drug cartel war but the death on June 8th of Sergio Hernandez, a 15-year old shot on the border (between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez) by a Border Patrol officer.
The Mexican media and political world were indignant and hysterical. Felipe Calderon, Mexico's president, promised that the Mexican government "will use all resources available to protect the rights of Mexican migrants."[Mexican Teen Killed on Border Was 'Known Juvenile Smuggler,' Sources Say, Fox News, June 9th, 2010]
Later, Calderon, traveling to the World Cup, took time out from a stopover in the Ivory Coast to make a declaration demanding that the U.S. government carry out "a deep, impartial and objective investigation which concludes in the punishment of the guilty ones". (Exijo a EU castigo a agresores: FCH, Siglo de Torreon, June 12th, 2010)
Notice that Calderon calls for an "objective" investigation—but he already has the verdict figured out!
Another Mexican official actually called for an extradition of the agent so he could be tried in Mexico.
To its credit, the Border Patrol refused a request of the Mexican media to identify the agent by name.
The Mexican media and politicians also brought up the case of Anastasio Hernandez, who had died on May 28th after Border Patrol agents had tasered him, and other deaths in the past few years.
Certainly, all these deaths are nothing to rejoice over. However, there are extenuating circumstances.
In the case of the teenaged Sergio Hernandez, the Border Patrol has pointed out that he was "a known juvenile smuggler", on a most wanted list of juvenile smugglers in the El Paso area.
Far from being unprovoked, when young Sergio was shot, the Border Patrol agents were under attack by rock-throwing youths on the Mexican side.
This was treated with scorn in the Mexican media. How can you compare rocks with firearms?
As for the previous case of the 42-year old Anastasio Hernandez, according to Sara Carter in the San Francisco Examiner:
"On May 28, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, 42, died at the San Ysidro, Calif., border crossing after first being tasered by U.S. Border Patrol agents. The man was later found to be intoxicated with methamphetamine and to have suffered from hypertension that contributed to a heart attack. American officials said Hernandez Rojas fought with agents who were trying to return him to Mexico." [U.S.- Mexican Border Security Continues to Deteriorate, Officials Say, June 15, 2010]These deaths are indeed tragedies. But the Mexican government and Open Borders activists publicize these tragic incidents for a reason: They want to intimidate the Border Patrol and delegitimize our right to control the border.
The Border Patrol has a difficult job. Certainly, its agents should be held to a high standard and disciplined if they violate it.
But if the Mexican government really wanted to stop border deaths, it would tell its own citizens to stop crossing the border illegally. After all, such crossings not only violate U.S. law, they are also in violation of Mexican law—as I've documented here.
T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, was quoted by the San Francisco Examiner's Carter as follows:
"Enough is enough. The Mexican government demanding a full investigation and pretending they have no control or responsibility over what happened is unbelievable. They openly encourage people to cross. Nobody shows up to stop the rock throwers, smugglers on their side. It's a terrible thing that they are allowing criminals to gather on their side of the border to assault our agents."As if on cue, just a few days after Sergio's death, U.S. and Mexican congressmembers gathered for the annual U.S. Mexico Interparliamentary Group. I've reported on this annual get-together before, here and here. This year's "interparliamentary", number 49, was held in Campeche, Mexico.
Of course, the death of Sergio the teenaged smuggler was high on the agenda. Even the U.S. delegation got into the act, producing this statement:
"The U.S. delegation to the 49th U.S.-Mexico Inter-Parliamentary Group expresses its profound condolences for the tragic deaths of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas and Sergio Adrian Hernandez in the recent incidents along our shared border. Investigations are currently ongoing into these matters, and we must not pre-judge their outcome. These incidents, like many before along our border, underscore the need for the U.S. and Mexico to continue to cooperate, to see that the full story comes to light, justice is served, and that safeguards are put in place to help avoid such tragedies in the future."Excuse me, but how can the U.S. and Mexico cooperate on border security when Mexico doesn't want us to have any border security?
Mexico doesn't want us to stop illegal crossers heading northwards, though it does want us to stop weapons from traveling southwards.
I would like to propose therefore, an alternative statement that our lawmakers could have presented to their Mexican counterparts:
"The U.S. delegation to the 49th U.S.-Mexico Inter-Parliamentary Group expresses its profound condolences for the tragic deaths of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas and Sergio Adrian Hernandez in the recent incidents along our shared border. Investigations are currently ongoing into these matters, and we must not pre-judge their outcome.That's more like it!
WE CALL UPON OUR MEXICAN COUNTERPARTS TO EXHORT THEIR OWN CITIZENS TO RESPECT THE SOVEREIGNTY OF U.S. BORDERS AND TO WORK FOR AN IMPROVED SECURITY AND ECONOMIC SITUATION IN MEXICO."
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.