Border Communities Commemorate Border Brutality, Reaffirm Struggle for Justice



Arizona border communities stand with the families of Jose Gutierrez, Carlos La Madrid and Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez

Tucson, AZ: Border residents from Tucson, Arizona are rallying Monday to support the family of Jose Gutierrez who continues to denounce the brutal beating he endured 4 years ago at the hands of 11  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at the San Luis Port of Entry as he attempted to cross back into the U.S. to reunite with his family. The case of Jose Gutierrez still has not been resolved and no agent has been held accountable.

Press Conference:
2:00 pm Monday, March 30, 2015
El Tiradito Wishing Shrine
420 S. Main Ave, Tucson, AZ. 85701

5:00 pm
4th Ave. & 6th St. Intersection
Tucson, AZ. 85701

The actions on Monday will also call attention to the case of 19-year-old Carlos La Madrid who was shot and killed 9 days before Jose Gutierrez’ beating and also the case of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez who was shot and killed by Border Patrol agents as he was walking down the street in Nogales, Mexico. April 10, marks 2 ½ years since his killing.

Since the incidents took place, the families of the victims of border brutality have begun working together to demand justice for their cases and to call for accountability and oversight over the nation’s largest law-enforcement agency, Customs and Border Protection. As a result of the relentless efforts of the families, CBP has recently begun a pilot program to equip agents with body-worn cameras, which marks a step forward in bringing about meaningful oversight and accountability.

Visuals: In Monday’s events, sections of the Border Quilt will be on display. The Border Quilt is a collection of nearly 200 handmade cloth panels made by border residents expressing the toll that border militarization has taken in terms of rights violations and abuse. To call attention to the cases of border families, the Border Quilt will travel throughout the southern border over the next 12 weeks culminating with actions commemorating the deaths of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas in San Diego and Sergio Adrian Hernandez-Huereca, two high-profile cases of border brutality.

Human rights groups including the Border Action Network, Border Patrol Victims Network and the Southern Border Communities Coalition will be joining Shena Gutierrez, wife of Jose Gutierrez for a press conference and an evening rally.

Shena Gutierrez, wife of Jose, released this statement on behalf of their family:

Four years ago, our lives completely changed when Jose was handcuffed and taken from us to be deported to Mexico, a country he had not seen in over 3 decades. We did not think things could get any worse until March 30, 2011, when Jose was brutally beaten into a coma by Border Patrol agents. For 4 years we have been fighting for justice and we will continue to raise awareness about the culture of violence within Customs and Border Protection.

The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) brings together more than 60 organizations from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas, to ensure that border enforcement policies and practices are accountable and fair, respect human dignity and human rights, and prevent the loss of life in the region.
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