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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

Presente.org Responds to Justice Department's Investigation Launch on Fatal Shooting of an Innocent Teen at the United States-Mexico Border

Aug. 28, 2014

Nearly two years after 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was shot to death by Border Patrol at the United States-Mexico border, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has launched at least two investigations into Customs and Border Protection personnel in Arizona pertaining to the shooting death. The investigation comes after numerous cases of officer-involved shootings and abuses have emerged in the last few years, leading to a growing number of deaths at the hands of Border Patrol officers. It also comes at a time when local communities have demanded that the federal government step in to control a Border Patrol agency increasingly protested for abusive use-of-force practices.

Statement from Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org:

“The DOJ ’s investigation into Rodriguez's murder is an important step forward. We are pleased to see the DOJ finally become involved in this unwarranted act of violence on the border. We hope this investigation will bring us one step closer to providing justice for the families and community members who suffer daily human rights violations, even death, in border communities and at the hands of an out-of-control and increasingly militarized Border Patrol. It’s time to reign in the US Border Patrol, and hold agents to the same laws and standards of decency as other Americans.

“We need the DOJ to set a precedent with changes and recommendations that reform the Border Patrol and rebuild the community trust that has been so badly eroded. Presente.org and our members will be watching this investigation closely to ensure that the public remains aware of the DOJ’s decision and that justice is served.”

On November 6, 2013, Presente.org, the largest online Latino organizing group in the nation, started a petition and campaign demanding that the Department of Justice investigate the killing of Jose Antonio Rodriguez, which over 18,700 members signed.

See the petition signed by over 18,000 Presente.org members here: http://act.presente.org/sign/obamaborder/