March 2, 2014 |
Now we have an idea why the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service was keeping secret an independent report of its encounters at the Mexican border. Because it has something to hide. As The Times' Brian Bennett reported last week, an independent report by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum sharply criticized the agency for a "lack of diligence" in investigating fatal encounters involving its agents. The report, based on internal case files of 67 shooting incidents leading to 19 deaths between January 2010 and October 2012, also faulted some of the agents' practices, including positioning themselves in the "exit path" of fleeing vehicles apparently as a pretext for opening fire in self-defense.
November 6, 2009 |
Alan Bersin is back at the border and on the move. On the third day of a sprint through Texas and Arizona, a law enforcement convoy zooms into Nogales. Riding in a sport utility vehicle, Bersin scans a dusty landscape that he knows well: this desert town of 20,000 with its fast-food joints and discount shops facing the pastel facades and helter-skelter skyline of Nogales, Mexico, a city of 300,000 just south of the fence. Bersin, a compact 63-year-old with the stride of a former star football player at Harvard, arrives at the Nogales station, the U.S. Border Patrol's biggest.
February 28, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers and watchdog groups called Friday for tougher restrictions on the use of deadly force by U.S. border agents and more transparency in the investigation of killings, including the release of an independent audit that recommended reforms in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency's "use-of-force" policies. The comments followed a report Thursday by the Tribune Washington Bureau that revealed that a 21-page audit - which the border agency commissioned but has refused to release to the public or Congress - cited examples of border agents unnecessarily stepping in front of fleeing cars to justify firing at passengers, and responding to rock-throwing with firearms.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2011 |
When Luis Alarid was a child, his mother would seat him in the car while she smuggled people and drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border. She was the sweet-talking commuter, he was her cute boy, and the mother-son ploy regularly kept customs inspectors from peeking inside the trunk. FOR THE RECORD: Corruption case: An earlier version of this online article showed a photo of the San Ysidro border crossing and included a caption that stated that a Border Patrol agent who was hired there was engaged in illegal activity.
December 5, 2013 |
TUCSON - For months, even in the 100-degree-plus desert heat, Alejandro Castear always grabbed a heavy sweater when he left his southern Arizona home. The sweater wasn't to wear, he says, but to fend off chilling memories of his time in a freezing detention center for people suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. Castear says he experienced what immigrant rights groups say is a common practice - detaining immigrants in frigid cells to pressure them to agree to deportation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2011 |
Never lose track of the load. It was drilled into everybody who worked for Carlos “Charlie” Cuevas. His drivers, lookouts, stash house operators, dispatchers -- they all knew. When a shipment was on the move, a pair of eyes had to move with it. Cuevas had just sent a crew of seven men to the border crossing at Calexico, Calif. The load they were tracking was cocaine, concealed in a custom-made compartment inside a blue 2003 Honda Accord. The car was still on the Mexican side in a 10-lane crush of vehicles inching toward the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection station.