Sponsored by

Photos: Nogales border vigil

Thanks to

Friday night, a newly formed group of activists began a 48-hour vigil and fast in Nogales to call for justice for those killed or injured by U.S. Border Patrol agents, organizers said.

The Border Patrol Victims Network started the event on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Herald Park on Crawford Street and Grand Avenue. Activists were joined by family members of two shot by Border Patrol agents and a third who was severely injured during a confrontation at a port of entry. 

Along with about 20 supporters was Taide Elena, the grandmother of José Antonio Elena Rodriguez, the 16-year-old resident of Nogales, Sonora, who was shot by Border Patrol agents on Oct. 10, 2012. Joining her was Guadalupe Guerrero, whose son Carlos Lamadrid was 19 when he was shot and killed in Douglas in 2011 and Shena Gutierrez whose husband Jose Gutierrez suffered a massive head trauma during his arrest at the San Luis Port of Entry in Yuma in 2011. 

After a ceremonial dance by the Aztec dance troupe Mexicayotl, all three women spoke for a few minutes. Elena thanked supporters in Spanish while clutching a picture of her grandson, who was shot only a few blocks away.

Elena was followed by Guerrero, who spoke in Spanish. "It makes me sad to see my son's picture here with all those others who have been killed," she said. 

Along a wall were photographs of people killed or injured by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers. At one point, Guerrero and Gutierrez lit a small candle marked with the names of those killed. 

"We don't want money, we don't want revenge," said Guerrero. "We want justice to this doesn't happened to anyone else." 

Gutierrez spoke about her husband who, she said, continues to suffer seizures and other problems. According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Jose Gutierrez went to the secondary inspection area at the port of entry and "got scared and tried to turn back." Gutierrez allegedly became "combative" and "ignored commands to halt" so an officer used a taser and Gutierrez fell, his head slamming into the floor. 

"We have no idea what exactly happened that day," she said. "All I know is my husband is different and no one has been held accountable," she said. 

After the incident with Gutierrez, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement that noted, "We regret the injury and will continue to actively cooperate with the ongoing investigation."

No statements were released by the agency regarding either shooting. 

Saturday at 5 p.m., a procession will start at Nasib Karam Park, betweeen West Park Street and North Morley Avenue and cross over the border into Nogales, Sonora to visit shines.

The vigil will continue at Nasib Karam Park through Sunday where a spiritual ceremony will start at 10 a.m. A closing ceremony will be held at 6 p.m., organizers said.

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

- 30 -
have your say   

3 comments on this story

3
1509 comments
May 23, 2014, 4:02 pm
-1 +0

@Dylan Smith

The border stories as of late do appear to be written from one side of the issue. I really can’t see you arguing that. You gotta admit that is true. This latest story which leaves out the details of why these guys were shot and killed only feeds that perception. Those details really should have been worked into that story, even if preceded by “BP contends they were shot because…”.

As to why videos aren’t released, what’s the point? We all know that the open-borders crowd, and also the types that are holding the vigil mention in this story, would only blind themselves to the truth and only twist, distort, and spin the video to be anything but what it actually is. Were I the king of BP or whatever that guy is I would have made the same decision in his place.

2
422 comments
May 23, 2014, 3:56 pm
-0 +0

Bret,

Beyond your contention that the brief account provided by BP in the Rodriguez killing is entirely accurate (and if it is, why won’t that agency release the video of the shooting?), you’re completely off-base in your allegation that our coverage of anything is slanted by our funders.

EEJF is one of the largest and most respected funders of nonprofit investigative journalism in the country. They focus on supporting the best journalism organizations in the nation and don’t have any political points to push. We’ve never had a single conversation on how to spin a story, had any direction from them regarding what we should report on, or even heard a peep of a suggestion that we should cover a story in a certain way — and that’s as it should be.

While we of course rely on news tips from our readers as well s their contributions, any of our supporters, large or small, who suggested that we cover any story with a slant would very quickly find their money handed back to them.

1
1509 comments
May 23, 2014, 3:25 pm
-0 +0

TucsonSentinel.com’s original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

While I appreciate the transparency and disclosure, it is clear that these grants are starting to have an influence into how these stories are spun. For example:

The group says it will be joined by family members of José Antonio Elena Rodriguez, the 16-year-old resident of Nogales, Sonora, who was shot by Border Patrol agents on Oct. 10, 2012. The family of Carlos Lamadrid, who was 19 when was shot and killed in Douglas in 2011…

What Mr. Ingram conveniently left out is why these two were shot and killed. These two were involved in throwing rocks at BP agents, who justifiably defended themselves from this potentially deadly attack (the latter was reportedly a drug mule).

Speaking as a taxpayer, since BP agents cost time and money to train, I don’t see them as disposable. I see them as resources that taxpayers have invested in and I want them defending themselves. Speaking as someone who lives in this region that hasn’t completely lost his mind, it just makes sense that BP agents, or anyone, should be allowed to defend themselves against bodily harm or worse.

Anyone who doesn’t think rocks are a deadly weapon wouldn’t have a problem standing still while I throw rocks and try to hit them in the head, right?

But, hey, never let facts get in the way of a good story, right Paul?

Sorry, we missed your input...

You must be logged in or register to comment

Click image to enlarge

Paul M. Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Guadalupe Guerrero, left and Shena Gutierrez, far right, spoke to a crowd around 20 supporters asking for justice and accountability from U.S. Customs and Border Protection during a 48-hour vigil in Nogales, Ariz.

  • A
  • A
  • A
  •   Share:
  • more»
Show previews