Families want answers in deaths involving Border Patrol
Video Report By Richard Allyn, Reporter - bio | email
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Some San Diegans are taking aim at the Border Patrol demanding justice for families who have been killed by agents or Customs Officers.
And they will not go away quietly.
After several high profile incidents, families are shining the spotlight on what they are calling border "brutality."
Cell phone video broadcast for the first time on PBS, captured a group of Border Patrol agents beating and then tazing 42-year-old Anastasio Hernandez Rojas. He was an undocumented Mexican national, who had been living in San Diego for 27 years.
Hernandez Rojas had been deported and caught trying to return to the United States in 2010. He is heard screaming for help in the video, "Por favor -- Ayuda!"
Hernandez Rojas, a father of five, died in the hospital days after the incident. The medical examiner determined his death was a homicide due to a heart attack following the altercation.
His family is now joining forces with others around the country whose loved ones were also allegedly killed by Border Patrol agents. They will be traveling to Washington D.C. next week to lobby Congress to seek accountability for these deaths.
"To essentially say that their voices need to be heard, not only in the immigration debate but also in their individual cases," says Pedro Rios of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium.
Another of those cases is that of 32-year-old Munique Tachiquin, a mother of five who was fatally shot last fall by a Border Patrol agent while behind the wheel of her car in Chula Vista.
"I cant believe my daughter's not here -- I just cant believe it," says Valentin Tachiquin.
Munique's father will be among the delegation of 200 immigration reform and human rights advocates expected to descend on D.C.
"It's an opportunity to hear directly from people who they might not otherwise hear from -- family members who have been victimized by Border Patrol violence," says Rios. "And it's about how to make immigration reform accountable and transparent."
The Justice Department has previously said it was investigating the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas by Border Patrol agents.
While a federal grand jury heard evidence on the case last summer, so far, no indictments have been publicly announced.