Bridges Across Borders was founded in Bradford county in 2003. Now we see our area’s waters threatened by a proposed phosphate mine straddling the New River, and our neighboring Union county, which feeds into the Santa Fe River. There are thousands of acres of wetlands on the project site, endangered and threatened species that live there, and our fragile aquifer that is subject to depletion and contamination. We humans are concerned about our wells, our quality of life, and our health. Help us raise the funds for printing, postage, and expert testimony. Help us say, “NO PHOSPHATE MINING IN BRADFORD AND UNION COUNTIES.”

Painting by Ana Tierra

 

 

Border Patrol Victims Network, Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez Vigil

PICS FROM LAST NIGHT’S VIGIL FOR JOSE ANTONIO ELENA RODRIGUEZ. Araceli Rodriguez, Jose Antonio’s mom, showed up by herself as other family members were unable to attend. Six came from “el otro lado” in solidarity with Araceli to enjoy champurado and sweet bread, a Christmas posada in Feb. Mark and Ana Maria played the panpipes. A migrant joined us briefly carrying his bedroll and then he disappeared into the night facing an uncertain future. Araceli commented on the frustration of the Border Patrol agent’s trial being continually delayed, and how only recently she was shown the clothes her son was wearing when he died, something she could barely stand to bear.

Border shooting of Mexican teen heads to Supreme Court

Sergio Hernandez died at 15, shot dead by policeman Jesus Mesa. His would have been a story of American violence both tragic and banal if the victim had not been in Mexico and the shooter in the US.

The thorny legal question raised by the cross-border homicide heads to the US Supreme Court on Tuesday.

At issue is whether the teen’s family has the constitutional right to sue Mesa, a Border Patrol agent, in US courts.

The Supreme Court takes up the case amid a deeply divisive national debate on President Donald Trump’s vow to build a US wall on the border with Mexico to stem illegal immigration.

The shooting occurred June 7, 2010. Hernandez was playing around with three friends in the dry riverbed of the Rio Grande that separates the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez from its Texan neighbor El Paso.

The four friends were racing up the concrete embankment to touch the barbed-wire fence on the US side, and racing back down. The unmarked border line runs through the middle of the culvert.

Their game bothered Mesa, who was patrolling the area on bicycle. He shot Hernandez in the head, and the teen died just 60 feet (18 meters) from the border on Mexican soil.

The Border Patrol agent later explained that Hernandez and his friends had refused to obey his order to stop the game and had thrown rocks at him.

Mesa left the scene without helping his victim, accompanied by colleagues who had come to give him back-up.

According to the family of the victim, the teen was shot while unarmed and presented no danger.

 Angry Mexico 

The case sparked protests in Ciudad Juarez and a diplomatic mini-crisis between the neighboring countries, with Mexico’s then-president Felipe Calderon demanding a “profound and impartial” investigation by the Obama administration.

The previous week, another Mexican teenager, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, had died after being beaten and shocked with a Taser by border police at the southwest crossing between Tijuana and the US city of San Diego.

It was in this context of repeated US official violence against Mexican nationals at the border that the parents of Hernandez decided to sue Mesa, accusing him of violating the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, which bars unjustified deadly force.

Their lawsuit for unlawful use of lethal force also cites the Fifth Amendment, which among other provisions says that a life cannot be taken without the “due process of law.”

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ultimately upheld a decision to dismiss the case, stating that US courts had no jurisdiction since the victim was Mexican and died in Mexico.

 ‘Intolerable’ 

In the appeal, the New Orleans court decided that the complaint of unlawful use of lethal force could not be applied.

Rights group Amnesty International called the ruling “intolerable” and “in violation of basic principles of international law.”

According to Bob Hilliard, an attorney with Hilliard, Munoz, & Gonzales, the firm representing the Hernandez family before the Supreme Court, US border patrols have fatally shot at least eight Mexicans between 2006 and 2016 in cross-border incidents.

“Innocent Mexican nationals have been murdered with no ability to speak through the court system to the person who committed a crime,” he said.

His partner, Jose Luis Munoz, pointed out the case has broad implications.

“Beyond politics, this case is about humanity,” he told AFP.

“Human worth is not determined by place of birth and justice is not determined by where a life ends — especially a young life cut short when a US law enforcement agent, standing inside the US and governed by this country’s constitutional constraints, pulls the trigger.”

After lengthy hesitation, the Supreme Court decided last October to hear the case, which has gathered numerous arguments in support of the parties.

The US federal government is backing Mesa, warning that authorization of such lawsuits could “significantly disrupt the ability of the political branches to respond to foreign situations involving” US national interests.

The Mexican government has warned that blocking the case could damage US-Mexican relations.

“Applying US law in this case would not interfere with operations of the Mexican government within Mexico,” it said in a court brief.

“On the contrary, providing an adequate and effective remedy would show appropriate respect for Mexico’s sovereignty on its own territory and for the rights of its nationals.”

Friends and relatives … Please join us for a lunch of tamales and beans this coming Saturday, May 4th at the Southside Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 317 W. 23rd St. Tucson, AZ for a Border Lunch and Art Sale.

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Browse our selection of woven handbags from Colombia, get one of the many baskets created by our Wounan artisans (indigenous tribe from the areas of panama and Colombia), and buy some of the paintings of our amazing Colombian artist and activist Ana Maria Vasquez.

Your presence and solidarity will help us achieve our goals:

To support education programs for the indigenous people of Jaque, Panama.

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Invitation to 6th Annual Yanama

Invitation to 6th Yanama

click to view invite (PDF)

Riohacha , Guajira 21 de Marzo de 2010

Compañer@s:

Via CAROL MOSLEY (USA)

Receive this brotherly/sisterly greeting from the Wayuu community of Bahia Portete.

This event commemorates the anniversary of the Sixth year of the massacre of our community that constitutes the genocide against our town, which was the greatest affront to our culture in all our history, because it touched those most sacred in our community: the women and the children.

Our Wayúu community of Bahia Portete will host “SIXTH YANAMA, LAPÛU SAU^U WOUNMAIN, DREAM OF OUR TERRITORY, FOLLOWING STEP BY STEP the TRACKS TO LOOK FOR the TRUTH AND JUSTICE, united by the civil resistance of the indigenous towns, weaving day to day and committed to the memory and the dreams of future generations for our return.

In Bahia Portete, Alta Guajira – Colombia, during days 15 to the 20 of April of 2010, we extend this very special invitation. For the Wayúu community it is important to have your support and solidarity and we count on your presence, as regional delegates, national and international, in this most significant Commemoration as an indigenous community.

With gratitude,

DEBORA BARROS FINCE

Organizadora del evento | Email: wayuumunsurat@yahoo.com | Celular: 3002773822-3102388988

TELEMINA BARROS C.

Rte. AKOSHIJIRRAWA | Email mujertejiendopaz@yahoo.es | Celular: 3004229793

In USA call: Bridges Across Borders

Email: office@bridgesacrossborders.org | (352) 485-2594