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Tag: Mexico

Undocumented Immigrant Paid Nearly $500,000 After Being Shot by Border Patrol Agent

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government was ordered to pay nearly $500,000 to an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was shot by a Border Patrol agent on Nov. 16, 2010, the USA Today reports.

U.S. District Court Justice James Soto said the agent’s “use of force was not justified” because the plaintiff, Castro Romo, “was not in the motion of throwing a rock at Canales.”

“Put more bluntly,” the judge wrote, “a rock is not as deadly an object as a gun and requires a greater degree of certainty that the object will be used than the threat or perceived threat of a gun.”

It’s not yet clear how the ruling will impact Border Patrol agents, who killed at least nine people for allegedly throwing rocks since 2010.

“The court has put some strength into the idea that you can’t just say ‘he had a rock in his hand so it was justified,’ which was their successful default defense for many shooting deaths,” said Texas attorney Bob Hilliard, who is representing families in three wrongful-death cases against Border Patrol agents who shot alleged rock throwers. “He’s saying you have a professional duty to exercise reasonable care. … It still gives Border Patrol agents the power to defend themselves, and it gives Mexican nationals under arrest their constitutional protections.”

 

Complaints: U.S. Citizens Increasingly Harassed at Border Patrol Checkpoints

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jennifer Weaver couldn’t believe what happened when she told a Border Patrol agent at a checkpoint in Texas that she had two pistols in her glove compartment with the proper concealed-handgun license in her purse.

The Arizona Republic reports that Weaver was forced to the ground and was held for an hour while agents ran gun checks and thoroughly searched her vehicle.

The same thing happened two weeks later, she said.

Her complaint is nothing new. The scores of checkpoints on roads and highways near the U.S. are intended to check on the immigration status of passers-by.

But privacy proponents say the checkpoints “have become an invasive catch-all for general law enforcement, and that they subject residents who pass through them to harassment and unconstitutional search and seizure,” the Arizona Republic reported.

 

Justice Department Builds Secret Database to Spy on Millions of Cars

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A license plate tracking program established to seize cars and money to combat drug trafficking has gone far beyond its original scope and has led to the collection and storage of millions of records about motorists, Reuters reports.

Not only is the database being used to track drug dealers, but state and locals authorities are using it to search for cars tied to other serious crimes, raising questions among privacy advocates.

This is the first time the DEA has revealed it is expanding its database beyond the  Mexican border.

What remained unknown was whether a judge or agency was responsible for oversight.

A debate is being waged in Washington over what some are expressing as privacy concerns with license plate readers.

Border Patrol Kills Second Suspect in 1 Week After Car Runs Checkpoint

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

For the second time in Texas in one week, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed man.

The Associated Press reports that agents fatally shot the man after he drove through the inspection checkpoint at 5 p.m. Thursday.

According to authorities, the motorist was in the inspection lane on Interstate 10 in Sierra Blanca, about 80 miles southeast of El Paso.

Border Patrol agents pursued the car for about 30 minutes before the man brandished a gun.

“A pistol-shaped pellet gun was recovered from the individual’s vehicle,” according to the statement.

Border Patrol agents said they came under fire on Wednesday and shot back, killing one suspect on the U.S. side of the border.

Other Stories of Interest


Are Drones the Drug Mules of the Future? DEA Says It’s Not Cost-Effective

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The recent discovery of a drone carrying methamphetamine near the U.S. border in Mexico has raised some eyebrows.

But the DEA said drones will not become tomorrow’s drug mules because they are not cost-effective, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“This method will only allow a small amount of drugs to be flown at a time, and that coupled with the ease of detection, does not make this method very profitable to these drug trafficking organizations whose motivation is money,” DEA spokeswoman Amy Roderick said.

It wasn’t immediately clear where the recent drone was heading, though one media report suggested the unmanned aircraft system was carrying drugs from one Tijuana neighborhood to another.

“While we would not call using drones a new trend in smuggling, we do know that drug trafficking organizations will use any and all means to get their drugs in the United States,” said Roderick.

Search Continues for Mexican Drug Lord Released Early After DEA Agent’s Death

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Authorities are searching for a convicted drug lord who was released from prison after killing a DEA agent following a recent decision by a Mexican court, the Associated Press reports.

The Mexican Supreme Court pressured a lower court to reverse the decision to release Rafael Caro Quintero in August 2013 after serving just 28 years in prison.

Quintero has been missing since.

The U.S. expressed outrage after Quintero, who was convicted in the 1985 kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, was released early.

Quintero is considered the grandfather of Mexican drug trafficking.

FBI Assists Investigation into Disappearance of 43 College Students in Mexico

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com  

The FBI is beginning to help investigate the disappearance of 43 college students in Mexico, even as evidence recently surfaced that the country’s government may have been involved in rounding up the young people, NBC News reports.

The students, who were training to be teachers, vanished on Sept. 26 after protesting for more funds.

American scientists are helping analyze DNA evidence to determine whether bodies found in a mass grave in October are those of the missing students.

Prosecutors alleges that local officials were behind the disappearance. Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and dozen of local officials have been jailed, accused of turning the students over to a local drug cartel, Guerreros Unidos, which grows opium poppies for heroin that is shipped to the U.S.

Investigative reporter Anabel Hernandez believes the Mexican government played a significant role in the disappearance.

“The government knew exactly what was happening,” she said, citing documents and cell phone videos that revealed the presence of federal police during the disappearance.

The Mexican government has denied any involvement.

Border Patrol Beefs Up Security After Claim That Agent Kidnapped

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A claim that a Border Patrol agent was kidnapped by a Mexican cartel has prompted the agency to increase safety in some border towns, UPI reports.

As new safety measures are taken, Border Patrol officials said no agents are missing from the Rio Grande Valley sector, but they are still trying to reach some off-duty agents.

One precaution being taken in the El Pastor sector, which includes 268 miles, agents are required to keep in constant contact with headquarters, UPI wrote.

“At this time, the authenticity of the phone call received by the La Joya Police Department is uncorroborated. Nevertheless through an abundance of caution, El Paso sector has enacted safety protocols sector wide. The sector maintains communication with headquarters of the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection,” the U.S. Border Patrol said.