February 4, 2021

“MARIA PUGA HAS been telling the story for more than a decade now. On May 28, 2010, her husband, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, suffered a brutal and ultimately fatal beating at the hands of U.S. homeland security personnel at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on the southern edge of San Diego.The father of five was hogtied at a secure facility while at least eight agents and officers from the nation’s three border and immigration enforcement agencies punched and kicked him; a crowd of their colleagues circled around and watched. They knelt on his neck and body. Crying out for help, Hernandez was repeatedly tased while handcuffed. He suffered five broken ribs, internal organ hemorrhage, and bruising on his face and torso. He died of cardiac arrest and brain damage three days later. The coroner’s office ruled the case a homicide. Despite the federal agents erasing the video taken by eyewitnesses, the violent episode was caught on film and broadcast on national television. No agents or officers were punished, let alone charged for the killing. Puga has been protesting ever since.”

Source: Ryan Devereaux, “Anatomy of Impunity”: Former Dhs Supervisors Say Border Killing Cover-Up Was Part of a Pattern” (The Intercept, February 4, 2021) <https://theintercept.com/2021/02/04/border-patrol-killing-impunity-iachr/>.

Sector(s): San Diego

Agency(ies): CBP

Event Type(s): Conditions in Custody, Use of Force

Accountability Status: No steps taken