The death of a Mexican teenager, shot on Monday by a U.S. Border Patrol officer while throwing rocks, has spawned a war of words between the American and Mexican governments, escalating already tense situation at the El Paso-Juárez border.
U.S. officials say Sergio Adrian Hernandez Güereca, 15, was part of a group of youths throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents on bicycles who were arresting two men caught illegally crossing the U.S.- Mexico border near downtown El Paso, Texas. One of the agents fired at the group, hitting Güereca a single time in the head. It was first thought that the boy had also crossed over to the American side of the border, but authorities have since confirmed that he died in Mexican territory. The entire incident took place at a railroad bridge that connects the two nations.
Güereca was buried Tuesday. His family blasting the U.S. border patrol, holding it responsible for their son’s death. (A statement by the U.S. State Department said the U.S. “regret[s] the loss of life.”) Juárez mayor José Reyes Ferriz also joined protests.
“We cannot tolerate these kind of incidents, where people fight with rocks against firearms, mainly when there are well-trained agents involved in these cases, like Border Patrol agents,” Ferriz said.