Dismissal in cross-border shooting case

Border sign, courtesy of cliplet on Flickr

From the Western District of Texas by way of CNN, an Alien Tort Claims Act dismissal in Hernandez et al v. Jesus Mesa, Jr., et al (No. 3:11-cv-00331, W.D.Tex.):

Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was fatally shot June 7, 2010.

Authorities said at the time that Hernandez was throwing rocks at the agent from the Mexican side of the border before the agent opened fire.

Hernandez had a history of involvement with human smuggling and was on a list of repeat juvenile offenders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said at the time of the shooting.


In January, Hernandez’s parents, Jesus Hernandez and Maria Guadalupe Guereca, filed a lawsuit against Mesa, the United States and every office involved with border protection.

The suit alleged that the government was liable for the teen’s death under the Federal Tort Claim Act, the Alien Tort Statute and the U.S. Constitution.

The Washington Post has more:

Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones in El Paso dismissed the lawsuit against the U.S. government earlier this month because the boy, Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, was on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande when he was shot on June 7, 2010. U.S. law gives the government immunity when such claims arise in a foreign country, Briones noted, and the “harm that the Plaintiffs allege … was felt in Mexico.”

Though Judge Briones tossed the $25 million claim against the government, he ruled that the action against Mesa, the Border Patrol Officer, may continue. There will be an appeal.

The plaintiff’s first amended complaint can be found here.


About Charles Donefer

I am an attorney in New York City.
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