My Photo
I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.

Longmire_square

With over a dozen years of combined experience in military law enforcement, force protection analysis, and writing a variety of professional products for the US Air Force, state government in California, and the general public, Ms. Longmire has the expertise to create a superior product for you or your agency to further your understanding of Mexico’s drug war. Longmire Consulting is dedicated to being on the cusp of the latest developments in Mexico in order to bring you the best possible analysis of threats posed by the drug violence south of the border.

Follow DrugWarAnalyst on Twitter

« "Violence in Mexico has reached unprecedented levels, experts agree." | Main | "Pinal County Sheriff: Mexican drug cartels now control parts of Arizona." »

June 09, 2010

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Considering facts are changing daily from both FBI and Mexican authorities, it's hard to really judge this for what it is. In either case, it does seem as though the child was throwing rocks; one of the only consistent facts from the FBI and Mexican authorities. I can't feel too bad about the child, as the kid was obviously up to no good and was likely aiding traffickers. I did however find an interesting video on youtube which:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtdf-WRhMoU

The Best,

-D

PS- Given my experience with BP,(Not the Company- though sentiment the same) I can't give too much creedence to what they are saying either.

It’s a different border today than it was 20 years ago, with different players to include both Border Patrol and the Smuggling Organizations. These rock events (assaults) are nothing new and have been taking place for several years now. While some are staged, ie planned out in advance for a host of different reasons, others such as the one in question are simply spontaneous, brought on by a desire to distract an officer in hopes of allowing a comrade to escape, to vent, or make a statement witnessed by Amigos. Throwing stones at an armed U.S. federal agent does in fact offer great bragging rights for such young men/boys, and the fact that one of them actually gets shot from time to time only makes those rights more grand. For myself it doesn’t matter who is doing it, or how long the investigation ‘’ is on going’’ nothing will be changed from it. In the end it will be as it is, a young man lays dead, and an officer goes home with something he’ll keep for the rest of his life.

i saw the video today, how ridiculous that little kid didnt have to be shot in the head the border patrol could have backed off ive had rocks thrown at me and im sorry you can back off out of range. the usa gets away with anything they want, no one holds them accountable for anything they do. that guard should be arrested but wont be he'll get a week off with pay and be back to work asap.
poor child dosnt matter what country u are from.

Sylvia

I'm struggling with this incident for several reasons. First, as you point out ... rock throwing incidents have been fairly common. It's definitely dangerous to US agents to be the victims of incoming rocks, but surely we could have developed some kind of better response by now? I also can't understand why the USBP has a policy of shoot-to-kill if an agent draws a gun. There needs to be a range of options with different levels of force - not just shoot-to-kill. I find it hard to believe that a couple of well-placed warning shots (or alternatively some accurate shots with rubber bullets) couldn't have been a much better response to this problem.

The outcome is tragic. And it happens at a time when Americans need to demonstrate compassion and solidarity with the Mexican people - Mexicans have enough problems with cartel violence as it is. This is too much.

P - US law enforcement officers aren't trained to fire warning shots, and neither are we trained to "shoot to kill." We're trained to stop the threat. Yes, often the threat is stopped with more than one shot, and sometimes those multiple shots end up killing someone. However, in many circumstances, the threat is stopped with one shot, or no shots if pepper spray, a baton, or a taser is used. It's up to each individual officer to decide what response is appropriate for the threat. Unfortunately, we weren't there, so we don't know how severe the threat to that particular BP agent was, although he likely felt his life was in danger if he pulled his gun and started shooting. And his training was telling him to stop the threat, not specifically to kill someone.

Sylvia

An interesting discussion.

First ... you're absolutely right that we don't know the real facts in this case. Hopefully the FBI investigation will be open and transparent. It needs to be. For example, it's possible that the Border Patrol agent had actually been hit by some of the rocks that were thrown by the Mexican teenagers. In which case his situation was quite difficult, since he was also trying to control a struggling fugitive on the ground at the same time. It is true that we ask our agents to perform to very high standards - almost superhuman expectations sometimes.

However, there are also some real problems. I am familiar with the "logic" that says that firing bullets is an attempt to "stop a threat". This language is used in civilian training, as well as for federal agents in the USA. But the truth is that these terms are crafted for legal formalities, and they hide the greater truth. Firing a high-caliber weapon at a person doesn't just stop the threat - it's very likely to have fatal results! We use terms like "stopping power" for ammunition ... but what we're talking about is the ability to kill a human target. Especially now that many US agents have adopted higher caliber ammo, such as 40-cal and 357-sig bullets, the chances of a lethal outcome are much higher. This especially applies to targets (people) with lower body mass, such as teenagers, minors and women. The fact of the matter is that if an agent sights a weapon accurately on the center of gravity of person and pulls the trigger, a fatal outcome could be quite likely. So even if the Border Patrol does not say that they have a shoot-to-kill policy, it can effectively work out the same way.

I hope these incidents lead to a deeper review of options available to the Border Patrol to handle difficult situations. For example, why don't the agents carry small ballistic shields that could protect their heads and shoulders from rocks thrown by hostile offenders? A small shield could be designed to be relatively lightweight, and still could offer helpful protection against incoming rocks and hard objects. It doesn't have to be big or bulletproof - it just needs to provide some protection so an agent won't suffer skull fractures. A tool like that could give our agents the "breathing room" they need to make critical decisions when under pressure.

Just a thought.

Oh for gosh sakes! A ''small sheild''?....well I don't think so. Instead of coming up with more ways and tools that a PA or any other officer might fend off one of these rock attacks, how about the Mexican goverment better informing their Alien Smuggling folks that if they sling rocks at a greenly dressed PA they may very well end up wounded from gunfire, or dead. If ''P'' would reread their own words they would see why such a thing as a had held shield wouldn't work.

Just the fact that the Border Patrol has yet to release the name of the agent who fired at a boy says many things.
Who was this person? How many years in service? What is the history of this agent?
With the hiring of thousands of new personal, without a doubt, professionalism is taking its toll.

Well I live in the San Diego area and he recent things that have happened are really to consider greatly,
because what can you expect from the nation that treats their wounded as if they weren't be good for anything after,look at the military families( not all of them) but most that have been wounded are struggling because they are not helped ,
now tell me what are mexicans to expect if they aren't from the same nationality???
I once heard from my granpa and took in mind and really carried with me for all these years that Russians would take you of your seat by force and that Americans would ask you to dance politely then take your seat.
Well he was a comunist any way spoke chinesse German Spanish French and what not
my point is after all these years of mexicans Beeing one way under the shadow of the neighbor nation they are starting to realize that little by little America is taking control of Mexico be it cultural trend political views and other things so they're finally speaking out in actions and little by little they won't back down.

Bottom line: Don't try to assault ANYONE who is carrying a gun!

The comments to this entry are closed.