TUCSON, Arizona – The mother of Carlos R. Lamadrid marked Wednesday’s one-year anniversary of his death at the hands of the U.S. Border Patrol by taking part in a march to demand justice for the 19-year-old U.S. citizen and Arizona resident.
“A year has passed and up to now they have told me nothing about what is happening in the legal process,” Guadalupe Guerrero said in an interview with Efe.
Lamadrid’s fatal encounter with the Border Patrol took place on March 21, 2011, as he and a companion were driving a Chevrolet Avalanche toward the Mexican border with Douglas, Arizona, police in pursuit.
Carlos had abandoned the vehicle and was trying to reach a ladder on the border fence when a Border Patrol agent shot him four times.
The agent said he fired in self defense after Lamadrid threw rocks at him.
Authorities subsequently found 48 pounds of marijuana in the Avalanche.
“There is no logical reason for the death of my son. I want justice, I want that person who hurt my son to pay like any of us,” Guerrero, who recently moved to Tucson with her two surviving children, said Wednesday.
“Another kind of law” prevails along the border, she said.
“If this happened to my son who was a citizen of this country, what can the undocumented immigrants expect,” Guerrero said. “If my son carried drugs they should have put him on trial, give him a chance.”
She pleaded for Border Patrol agents to adjust their tactics.
“We know they use rubber bullets and I don’t know why they didn’t use them with my son,” Guerrero added.
She said she has yet to decide on a possible civil suit against the government over her son’s killing, while federal officials told Efe they couldn’t comment on the case because it remains under investigation.
Lamadrid’s family and friends were joined Wednesday by members of the community for a march and vigil in Douglas to commemorate the sad anniversary.
“This kind of case has very bad repercussions for our community, increasing distrust toward the Border Patrol and creating more social problems,” Juanita Molina, director of the Border Action Network, told Efe.
Communities in the region need some kind of independent entity that has the authority to regulate the actions of the Border Patrol and other agencies, she said. EFE