Your government wouldn’t lie about a little thing like murder, would it?
Considering that a U.S. Customs and Border Protection surveillance camera reportedly recorded the Rodriguez Elena shooting, it seems like an especially good opportunity for the feds to step up and say, “The agent was justified in using lethal force, and here’s a video to prove it.” Instead, the video and other evidence that the feds control have been tightly sealed from public view.
There are more questions than answers about the shooting death last October of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. Neither the U.S. nor Mexican governments seem to be anxious to publicize what certainly appears to have been an intentional armed incursion into Mexico by a U.S. Federal paramilitary unit. The Border Patrol seems to expect people to take their word for it that it was a “justified” action… although how one justifies shooting someone in another country seven times in the back is a little more difficult to explain.
From the Nogales Internayional (via Green Valley (AZ) Sun):
The cross-border fatal shooting of 16-year-old Mexican citizen Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in October in Nogales remains in the public eye, despite and because of the shroud of secrecy that continues to surround it.
The incident in which a Border Patrol agent or agents shot Rodriguez 11 times – seven times in the back – during an alleged rock-throwing incident near West International Street, was featured prominently in a June 10 story by Fernanda Santos of The New York Times titled “Shootings by agents increase border tensions.” The story cites increased concerns by lawmakers, civil rights advocates and victims’ families over the Border Patrol’s use of lethal force, and notes that while the lengthy immigration bill now in the Senate addresses use of force on only one page, it still “provides the most decisive response to concerns so far.”
A story published two days later by KJZZ’s Fronteras: The Changing Americas Desk and titled “Immigration bill offers few changes to border patrol use of force,” also put the Elena Rodriguez shooting at the center of a discussion of the Border Patrol’s use-of-force policy and the Senate bill. Within that discussion were two observations that were especially noteworthy.
In the first, retired U.S. Customs special agent Terry Kirkpatrick, a Tubac resident and author of the book “Sixty Miles of Border,” described the chaos and fear of border shooting incidents. But he also wondered why the agents involved in the Elena Rodriguez shooting fired through the bars of the border fence instead of retreating.
“I would be questioning, if it was one of my agents, as to why that happened,” Kirkpatrick told reporter Michel Marizco.
This is a question we’ve been asking as well. After all, two Nogales Police Department officers were also at the scene and, while also being targeted by rock throwers, took cover instead of pointing a gun through the fence and firing into Mexico. The fact that so many shots were apparently fired into Elena Rodriguez’s back also needs further explanation….
Unless there were seven or eight “magic bullets” fired the night of 10 October 2012, those unseen videos would elucidate what really happened… the laws of physics (and common sense) make the Border Patrol story highly improbable:
In published reports, the event occurred as the Border Patrol observed two youths wearing backpacks who were scaling the border wall. This was allegedly followed by a barrage of rocks thrown by youths standing on the Nogales, Mexico side of the fence. The agent then discharged his or her weapon on the group of rock throwers.
There are some factors that complicate this matter, however.
The shooting occurred at a location where the border fence sits atop a rocky crag with a sharp incline of more than 20 feet above the street below. Therefore, the shooter must have been standing at the border wall, with the muzzle of the pistol in the 4″ space between the iron bars of the fence, a location that would seemingly provide adequate protection from rocks thrown from below. If any rocks were actually thrown.
The claims of a “barrage of rocks” have come into question. it would not only take a great deal of effort to throw rocks over the fence from the street below (at an altitude between 30 to 40 feet), and it is apparent that there is no way that rock throwers could have seen their targets based on the difference in elevation, the border fence and vegetation blocking their view. In addition, the trajectory would have carried any projectiles far from the border fence. And there are no loose rocks to be found in the area.