Photo: Ramses Barron-Torres
The Department of Justice has just concluded its investigation into two separate shooting incidents at the border where Mexican teens were killed by U.S. agents and found no foul play.
The first incident involved the shooting death of 17-year-old Ramses Barron-Torres on January 5, 2011. Barron-Torres was on the Mexican side of the border near Nogales, Arizona when he was fatally shot by a Border Patrol agent for throwing rocks from across the border, at the agents. The DOJ after devoting “significant time and resources” investigating the incident concluded that agents, who were conducting a drug smuggling investigation at the time, were forced to take protective cover due to the rocks. Apparently videotape shows Barron-Torres throwing rocks and ignoring warnings to stop in Spanish.
The killing was justified and viewed as self-defense. The DOJ concluded: “While the loss of life is regrettable, the facts of this matter do not support a federal prosecution. Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed.”
The DOJ has also closed the investigation into the shooting death of 19-year-old Carlos LaMadrid on March 2, 2011. On the day of his death LaMadrid, a U.S. citizen, was observed transporting suspicious bundles near the U.S.-Mexico border on the U.S. side near Douglas, Arizona. His vehicle was pursued by law enforcement and after crashing his vehicle LaMadrid attempted to flee into Mexico by climbing a ladder situated on the border fence.
U.S. Agent witnesses claim at the same time LaMadrid was climbing the border fence, rocks were thrown at them from the Mexican side of the border. The rock throwing forced agents to shoot at those offenders and LaMadrid got caught in the cross-fire and was shot four times. Other witnesses claim no one was rock throwing and that agents shot at La Madrid to stop him from fleeing into Mexico.
The DOJ concluded the killing was justified and viewed as an accident as a result of the U.S. agent acting in self-defense and mistakenly striking the victim.