Border agents beat Anastasio to death in 2010 in the first case of its kind brought before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
SAN DIEGO, CA -- Family and friends of Anastasio Hernández Rojas will gather at Chicano Park this Thursday May 31st on the 8th anniversary of his death at the hands of border agents to announce a mural honoring his life by local artist Victor Ochoa.
The family will set up an altar on the steps of the park’s kiosk and will call for more accountability of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, particularly in light of the recent killing of a 20-year-old indigenous Guatemalan by a Border Patrol agent in Texas. Since 2010, Border Patrol agents have killed more than 50 people with not a single agent being held accountable for any death.
Anastasio's case broke the credibility shield of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It was the first border brutality case to draw sustained national attention, leading to congressional investigations and changes in the use-of-force policy at CBP. To this date, this case continues to drive policy changes like the calls for agents to wear body-worn cameras. Anastasio’s case is also the first to go before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an international tribunal that is examining the U.S. government’s pattern and practice of abusing its power.
What: Announcement of Mural in honor of Anastasio Hernández Rojas
When: Thursday, May 31th at 11 AM
Where: Chicano Park, in Barrio Logan
Who: Speakers include:
- Maria Puga, widow of Anastasio
- Pedro Rios, American Friends Service Committee
- Muralist Victor Ochoa
- Andrea Guerrero, co-chair of the Southern Border Communities Coalition and Executive Director of Alliance San Diego, and co-counsel on the IACHR case
- Imam Taha of the Islamic Center of San Diego
Maria Puga, widow of Anastasio Hernandez, said the following:
“It’s been eight years since border agents took the life of Anastasio, and the agents who did this are yet to be held responsible. That is why we continue our quest for justice. This mural will honor the life of Anastasio and also stand in solidarity with the families of all those who have lost their lives at the hands of border agents. We must all work together to hold border agents account. We will never forget Anastasio, and we will never forget the victims. That is why we fight today. That is why we will fight tomorrow.
“Border agents have a proven pattern and practice of death and abuse that has destroyed families and terrorized communities. To this day, not a single border agent has been held accountable for taking someone’s life, leaving families in a perpetual fight for justice. This lack of accountability must end, and it begins with equipping border patrol agents with body-worn cameras while on patrol to make sure the public sees what’s going on on the field. It’s what we expect of police officers. It’s what we should expect of border agents.”
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN BORDER COMMUNITIES COALITION
The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) brings together 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.