“Devastating Decision!” – No Charges for Border Agents Who Bludgeoned Mexican Immigrant to Death

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He had moved to the United States when he was 15 years old. He lived in San Diego for 25 years, had US-born children and earned a living there. He had built a life for himself in America.

Then one day just like that Anastasio Hernández-Rojas was deported to Mexico.
However, all of this is irrelevant because he died more than five years ago; those who killed him have recently been deemed justified in doing so by the US Department of Justice.




In May 2010, Hernández-Rojas was trying to cross the border from Mexico into the country he called home.

The official account

Here is the official account of what happened.

US Customs and Border Protection Agents caught Hernández-Rojas trying to get into the United States illegally; they arrested him and placed them in handcuffs. The plan was to extradite Hernández-Rojas back to Mexico through the San Ysidro border crossing to Tijuana.

Once his handcuffs were removed authorities say he became aggressive and started resisting two agents’ efforts to contain him.

This is when three other officials joined their colleagues to help out and the officers used a baton on him. He was handcuffed once again, but continued to resist.

Due to his refusal to go along with the arrest, the deportation could not count as a voluntary return so the officers tried to put Hernandez-Rojas in a van to take him back to the station.


According to the Justice Department’s account he continued to resist and that is when the agents had to use the Taser on him – but that is not what killed him.

The official version suggests it was a cocktail of reasons that led to his death. It was a combination of the physical exertion from the scuffle, a pre-existing heart condition and “acute methamphetamine intoxication” that killed him.

Based on this, the Justice Department said that although Hernández-Rojas’ death was unfortunate there was not enough evidence to support that the agents had committed manslaughter.

The off the record version

In contrast to the Justice Department’s report, the San Diego coroner’s office ruled his death as a homicide. The office concluded that he had a heart attack and suffered “bruising to his chest, stomach, hips, knees, back, lips, head and eye lids; five broken ribs and a damaged spine”

The coroner’s report casts doubt over the official version and once you throw an onlooker’s cell phone video into the spanner, everything changes. Unbeknown to the agents and eyewitness captured the episode on their phone.

In the video Hernández-Rojas can be heard pleading for mercy, asking the officers for help.

At least 14 officers swarmed around the victim while he laid in the middle handcuffed and begging for sympathy. Then at least one officer can be seen using the stun gun on him multiple times.

Agents can be heard shouting repeatedly “quit resisting”, while another pulls off the meek victim’s pants.

It was so obvious that Hernández-Rojas was not confronting the officers that a witness shouted, “Hey, he’s not resisting guys. Why do you keep pressing on him?”




This remark was not welcomed by the agents and one of them told this person to “keep walking”.

“The government failed to deliver justice”

Hernández-Rojas’ widow, Maria Puga, is shocked that the Justice Department said there was methamphetamine in her husband’s body.

“He was a very healthy person, he did a lot of exercise, and he did not do drugs. What killed my husband was the electric shocks, the beating, and more. The medical examiner was clear. My husband’s cause of death was homicide. And that’s what the agents should be charged with,” she commented.

Puga says she had a feeling that the investigation seemed to favor the agents from the get go.

“They got away with murder.”

She added that the family had waited for years and the Department of Justice’s announcement not to prosecute the agents had left them disappointed.

“We waited more than five years for an answer to our pain, and we are sad, disillusioned and angered by today’s announcement. We expected and hoped for a more positive response given the brutality we saw in eyewitness videos. The government failed to deliver justice today.”

The victim’s mother, Luz Rojas said it feels as though impartiality is meant only for those with ample resources.

“This is not justice. It seems like justice is only for the wealthy and not for the poor.”
Perhaps, it is his brother’s comments that truly summarize how inequitable the decision is.

“If someone hits a dog, they get charged. These agents killed my brother, but nothing will happen to them. That is not right. Where is the justice?”

Watch the video below:




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About author

Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3597 posts

<p>Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.</p>

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