Source: Mexican teen killed by US BP agent

Associated Press Modified: October 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm •  Published: October 11, 2012
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Border agents are generally allowed to use lethal force against rock throwers.

In 2010, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent firing his weapon from El Paso, Texas, into Juarez, Mexico. Some witnesses said people on the Mexican side of the river, including the teen, were throwing rocks at the agent as he tried to arrest an illegal immigrant crossing the Rio Grande.

A federal judge in El Paso last year dismissed a lawsuit by the family of the boy because the teen was on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande when he was shot. U.S. law gives the government immunity when such claims arise in a foreign country, the judge noted.

A U.S. Department of Justice investigation, which included interviews with more than 25 civilian and law-enforcement witnesses, determined no federal civil rights charges could be pursued because "accident, mistake, misperception, negligence and bad judgment were not sufficient to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation."

In 2011, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man climbing a fence along the Arizona-Mexico. Cochise County sheriff's investigators said at the time there was no indication the 19-year-old assaulted or tried to assault the agent when he was shot three times in the back while climbing a ladder trying to cross the border back into Mexico.

Investigators later found 48 pounds of marijuana in the back of the man's truck. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Another investigation also remains active into a shooting last month by an agent patrolling the Rio Grande.

The Border Patrol said agents were aboard a boat near Laredo, Texas, when a group of people began throwing rocks at them. One of the agents fired shots across the border toward Nuevo Laredo. The agency said it wasn't clear whether anyone had been hit by bullets, but Mexico's Foreign Relations Department issued a statement saying a Mexican citizen had been fatally shot.

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Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report.