A video released Thursday shows a U.S. Border Patrol agent firing earlier this week on four Mexicans who threw stones at him after they were spotted trying to enter the United States, an incident that left a 14-year-old boy dead.
The video, which was made by a Mexican with his cell phone, shows the four young men walking under a bridge over the Rio Grande, known in Mexico as the Rio Bravo, that links Ciudad Juarez to El Paso, Texas.
The Mexicans can be seen approaching a fence in their attempt to enter the United States.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent then arrives on a bicycle and manages to detain one of the Mexicans, while the other three run back toward the Mexican side of the border.
The three teenagers realize that their friend has been detained and throw several stones at the U.S. agent, who fires three times at close range at the Mexicans, killing Sergio Adrian Hernandez.
The Border Patrol agent fires while holding the detained Mexican by the hair, sending the others scurrying for cover.
A group of people watching the incident unfold, including the man who took the video, shout “they are throwing rocks,” followed by the sound of gunshots and a person saying “he hit him, the stupid man hit him.”
One of the other teenagers raises his hands and surrenders when he sees that Hernandez has been shot in the head, and more Border Patrol agents appear on the riverbank.
The video appears to disprove the U.S. agent’s account that he felt his life was in danger and also contradicts the statements of Hernandez’s mother, who said Wednesday that her son did not cross into the United States and was only watching what was going on.
The killing has sparked outrage in Mexico, which condemned the incident and called for a full investigation by U.S. authorities.
Hernandez will be buried Thursday in Ciudad Juarez.
The Defense Secretariat, meanwhile, denied reports that Mexican soldiers pointed their weapons after the shooting Monday at FBI agents on the Ciudad Juarez-El Paso border.
Soldiers stationed at the El Paso del Norte international bridge, the border crossing in the northern section of Ciudad Juarez where the incident occurred, were aware of the situation but stayed at their posts, the secretariat said.
Deaths and injuries of Mexicans at the hands of U.S. agents have risen, according to Foreign Relations Secretariat figures, from five in 2008 to 12 last year and 17 so far in 2010.
The FBI, which has jurisdiction in cases involving federal law enforcement officers, is investigating the shooting with the assistance of other federal agencies and the El Paso Police Department.
The boy’s death occurred a week after Mexican national Anastasio Hernandez Rojas died at a U.S. hospital after being beaten by U.S. Border Patrol agents.
The 35-year-old Hernandez Rojas was beaten near the Tijuana-San Isidro border crossing moments before being deported to Mexico after living more than 20 years in nearby San Diego, California.
Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, condemned the incident and said Hernandez Rojas was beaten by at least 20 U.S. federal agents for apparently “resisting repatriation.”
“They hit him repeatedly and gave him electric shocks even when he no longer put up any resistance,” the CNDH said.
Illegal immigration is one of the most contentious bilateral issues, with deportations and voluntary repatriations of Mexicans from the United States numbering in the hundreds of thousands every year.