Mexico Opens Probe Into U.S. Border Death

Will Weissert, AP, Jan. 3, 2006

MEXICO CITY—Mexico took the unusual step of opening an investigation into the killing of a man officials said was shot while sneaking into California, using the death to again draw attention to a contentious U.S. anti-immigration measure.

The death of the 18-year-old came as Mexico’s government continued its vocal campaign against the bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last month.

“This occurrence does no more than provide evidence that only a law that guarantees legal entry and is respectful of human rights can resolve the migratory problem both countries face,” Ruben Aguilar, the chief spokesman for President Vicente Fox, said Monday.

Many Mexicans oppose the U.S. measure, which would build more border fences, make illegal entry a felony and enlist military and local police to help stop undocumented migrants.

Aguilar said the death of Guillermo Martinez showed that extending border walls will not curb illegal immigration.

Martinez died Saturday in a Tijuana hospital, the Baja California state attorney general’s office said. He died one day after he was shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent near a metal wall separating that city from San Diego, according to witnesses cited by Mexican officials.

Raul Martinez, a spokesman for the Border Patrol said the agent had been “assaulted by an individual who threw a large size rock.”

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Mexico’s federal Attorney General’s Office said the probe was opened against “whomever is found to have been responsible,” but did not name a suspect. Mexico generally does not try to apply its laws to events that occurred in other nations.

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