Chronology of Border Patrol Use of Force Issues since 2010

Chronology of Border Patrol Use of Force Issues since 2010


Anastasio Hernandez Rojas is tortured to death by over a dozen border agents (CBP and Border Patrol) at San Ysidro port-of-entry in California in view of border travelers.  Witnesses video record his cries for help.  Due to the event having taken place at night, only audio is perceivable. Video footage is too dark to make out what is taking place, but the cries for help from Hernandez are alarming.  Some witnesses have their recording devices confiscated and videos are deleted by U.S. port-of-entry officials. Border Patrol claims Hernandez was combative and uncooperative, requiring use of force. Eyewitnesses claim otherwise. Almost two years later, a new eyewitness video surfaces that supports eyewitnesses accounts (see below).

Watch: Eyewitness video


Sergio Adrian Huereca, 15, is shot to death on the U.S.-Mexico border near El Paso, Texas while standing in Mexico.  CBP officials claim that the Border Patrol agent was surrounded by group tossing rocks. An eyewitness video does not support these facts, showing the agent firing shots at individuals who are at a distance and outside of the frame of the camera. The agent is also wearing a bicycle helmet. The Department of Justice later dismisses the case due to lack of jurisdiction.

Watch: Eyewitness video


U.S. Citizen Carlos La Madrid, 19, was shot four times in the back near Douglas, Arizona. Border Patrol states that someone above him on a ladder was throwing rocks.

Article: Carlos Lamadrid’s Mother, 19-Year-Old Killed By Border Patrol, Sues


Culture of Cruelty report is released by Arizona based No More Deaths revealing thousands of cases of abuse by CBP.

Download: A Culture of Cruelty


Nearly two years after the killing of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas and after no movement whatsoever by the authorities to investigate the case, PBS airs never before seen eyewitness footage of the beating and killing of Hernandez revealing a man who was detained, hogtied and face down on the ground while agents kicked, punched and Tasered him at least five times until his heart stopped.

Watch: Need to Know – Crossing the Line At The Border


Over nine cities across the country take part in demonstrations demanding justice for Anastasio Hernandez Rojas and border families affected by Border Patrol abuse.

Press Release: Families Affected by Border Brutality Joined By Vigils Across the U.S.


Maria Luz Rojas, mother of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, and representatives of the Southern Border Communities Coalition travel to Washington D.C. to deliver a petition signed by over 30,000 people to the Department of Justice asking for investigations into all deaths caused by lethal use-of-force by CBP, and for accountability and oversight.

As a result of this visit, 16 members of Congress write letters to Janet Napolitano (DHS), Inspector General Charles K. Edwards, and Attorney General Eric Holder (DOJ) raising questions about serious problems with use of force by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents.


Letter to Janet Napolitano (DHS)
Letter to Inspector General Charles K. Edwards
Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder


ACLU presents Human Rights Violations on the United States-Mexico Border to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which details the alarming trend of abuse and lethal excessive use of force at the hands of CBP officers and agents.

Download: Human Rights Violations on the United States-Mexico Border


A grand jury is announced to investigate the case of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas.

Article: AP NewsBreak – Grand Jury Probes Border Death


Valeria Munique Tachiquin, U.S. citizen and mother of five is killed in an urban community by a federal agent serving a warrant for someone else.  The agent, Justin Tackett, had been previously fired from his career as an Imperial County sheriff’s deputy.  In a termination letter written by Imperial County Sheriff’s Department Chief Sharon Housouer, Tackett was described as being unfit to carry a badge or a gun due to his history of misconduct.

Watch: Investigative Series

Download: Tacket vs. County of Imperial


José Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, killed while standing in Nogales, Mexico near the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Arizona. Border Patrol claims individuals were throwing rocks. Investigative reports reveal conflicting accounts.

Article: LA Times - Border Patrol shooting of Mexican teen draws condemnation


The United Nations declares that U.S. uses excessive force along Mexican border.



Article: Inside sources say Border Patrol agents are a ‘menace to society’.


SBCC releases Better Border Briefing with recommendations by border communities for improved border policy.



Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard meets with families of victims of Border Patrol brutality.

Press Release:


Over the Line : Why are U.S. Border Patrol agents shooting into Mexico and killing innocent civilians? - Washington Monthly article providing an overview of abuse incidents and rock throwing in particular.

Article: Over the Line


Leaked Border Patrol report expresses dangers of irresponsible enforcement buildup.

Press Release:


Office of Inspector General (OIG) releases report – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Use of Force Training and Actions to Address Use of Force Incidents.


SBCC critiques report as incomplete and insufficient.


LA Times: Many border agents don’t understand use-of-force rules, report says


CBP web post on Use of Force Reviews, Recommendations and Next Steps (posted on the morning of the Southwest Border Forum, prior to meeting with SBCC).



White House blog post regarding Southwest Border Forum (White House forum held with SBCC and multiple governmental representatives on 9/25/13).



CBP reveals Police Executive Review Forum (PERF) report has been issued with recommendations to change use-of-force policy. Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher states that the Border Patrol will not follow these best police practices recommendations and that the agency will continue to use lethal force.



Article: US Border Patrol has ‘alarming’ alcohol problem, says internal memo and inside source


Border communities send nearly 200 quilt panels expressing stories of loss as a result of border militarization. The Border Quilt is displayed on the National Mall in sight of the Capitol Building.

Press Release:


Twenty members of Congress sign a letter addressed to Custom and Border Protections’ Acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski requesting a meeting to discuss growing concerns about the agency’s lack of accountability and oversight, which has resulted in countless cases of abuse and corruption within the agency.



Arizona Republic reports that 42 individuals have been killed by Border Patrol agents since Feb. 2005 and, “In none of the 42 deaths is any agent or officer publicly known to have faced consequences – not from the Border Patrol, not from Customs and Border Protection or Homeland Security, not from the Department of Justice, and not, ultimately, from criminal or civil courts.”



ACLU Border Affiliates Sue Feds, Hospital for Invasive Cavity Searches of Woman

Press Release:


USA Today: Numbers don’t back need for lethal force at border


NBC San Diego “Politically Speaking” segment with Shawn Moran, the VP of the national BP union discussing PERF, rock throwing, allegations of abuse.


Press Release: Disturbing Images Show Border Agents Encouraging Children to Shoot at Human Effigy


Man who shot controversial Border Patrol brutality video fights for release from jail.

Also see: Cellphone video of Border Patrol arrest raises questions of excessive force


Press Relesase: Sheriff’s Report on Migrant Killing Raises Concern About Impartiality


Press Release: The IACHR Expresses Deep Concern Over the Deaths of Migrants Caused by the U.S. Border Patrol


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