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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator

Tell The Department Of Justice To Investigate The Death Of Anastasio

Here's the message we sent to our members. After you've read it, please add your voice.

Dear Presente.org member,

Sometimes my six-year-old son asks me: “Why did they kill daddy, why did they kill him?” 

That’s the same question that I have been asking myself for nearly two years.

In 2010 near San Diego, my husband Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas was brutally beaten and tasered by Border Patrol agents while more than a dozen other agents provided cover.  They hogtied and handcuffed him; made him lie face down on the pavement and tortured him to death, despite his repeated pleas for help.  

Over the last two years, Border Patrol has refused to release the names of the agents responsible for the brutal beating, and refused to reveal whether those involved have been disciplined.  Anastasio was not their only victim. Since 2010, the year Anastasio was killed,  Border Patrol agents have killed or seriously injured at least 9 people from San Diego to Texas.

My family is demanding that the Department of Justice conduct an open and thorough investigation of all the killings committed by the Border Patrol since 2010.  Will you join us by signing this petition to the DOJ to bring justice to my family and the other families that have been victimized?


Anastasio was a loving father of five and was the pillar of strength that held our family together.  

My children and I want to know the truth, and we want justice for Anastasio and all the other families that have lost a loved one at the hands of the Border Patrol.  When he came to this country, he sought greater opportunity in order to support his family.  He did not deserve to be tortured and dehumanized.  We are human beings and our immigrant lives as just as important as any other life. 

Please join my family, alongside the Southern Border Communities Coalition, and over 20,000 Presente.org members in asking that the Department of Justice bring justice home.  After you sign this petition, please ask your friends and family to do the same.


I can only hope that the day will come when I can give an answer to my six year old son and all my children. Only justice can bring peace to our home.  Anastasio deserves to have his dignity restored even after death.

Thank you for helping me and my children get one step closer to justice and peace,

Maria Puga
Widow of Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas