The Other Arizona Shooting

Before Congresswoman Gifford and others were shot in Tuscon, Arizona , 17 year old Ramses Barron Torres was shot and killed by a bullet originating in Nogales, Arizona. There have been no national moments of silence for the apparently unarmed teenager. No memes speculating on the sanity of the shooter(s) or if violent rhetoric played a role. That’s probably because Ramses Barron Torres is Mexican and was shot by U.S. Border Patrol.

The story on what actually happened to Torres depends on what source you believe. From Immigration Clearinghouse:

It took the players all day to get their stories to a point where it was agreed that the agents fired their weapons into the air, and they put Torres as either “in the US, throwing rocks at agents, when he fell and hit his head on a rock and died”, or, he fell from the fence which he was trying to scale while chunking rocks at BP agents, a truly awesome display of athletic ability were it to be true.

But something wierd happened. Torres body showed up at a hospital in Nogales Sonora with a gunshot wound, throwing all to hell the claims that he was in the US throwing rocks at BP agents.

The Sonora State Investigative Police, or PEI, said 17-year-old Ramses Barron Torres, who died shortly after 3 a.m. at a Nogales, Sonora hospital, was shot in the back of the right arm, with the bullet continuing into his chest cavity, puncturing a lung, and lodging in the left side of his ribcage.

In “the back of the right arm” meaning Torres would have had his back to the BP agents who murdered him.

Another report coming from The Mex Files puts another young man at the scene :

By Friday, Jonathan Clarke, Luis Alatorre and Cesar Barron from the Nogales International were able to piece together what sounds like a more plausible explanation. Another boy, who admits he was in the United States and was trying to elude the Border Patrol and as the boy admits, “he was wearing a ski mask at the time – to ward off the cold, he said – and the mask may have frightened the agent.”

The cynic (or perhaps it’s the realist) in me doesn’t believe in accidental shootings by law enforcement. From the Bay Area to the Border, accidental shootings seem to be the new “get out of jail free” card when law enforcement shoot people of color. And like Macha wrote last June when young Sergio Adrian Hernandez-Huereca was shot and killed by the U.S. Border Patrol :

I’m still waiting for the day when all the “obey every single law at any cost” people demand that the as yet unnamed agent be handed over to the Mexican police so that he may receive his just punishment. It doesn’t matter how angry it makes him that he can’t shoot people on the other side of the border (even if they are drug smugglers!) it is the law. And he apparently broke it.

What if the bullets had come the other way? What would be the response then?

A moment of silence for Ramses Barron Torres.

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6 comments on “The Other Arizona Shooting
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  3. The obfuscation of facts creates a default barrier to widespread news coverage. I read this article, as well as a couple of other ones linked to it, and the shooting took place in an “unprovable” manner, even if it is more likely than not that the BP agents did unjustifiably kill Torres.

    This default smokescreen is what enables those with power to shirk off responsibility, while rogues(?) such as Loughner are invariably routinely condemned.

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  6. I am deeply sorry that Ramses was murdered. Such violence furthers the problems plaguing humanity at this time. Globalization will kill us all if we fail to fully oppose the infrastructure of violence laying groundwork for unfettered greed and profit. NAFTA<CAFTA<AFTA

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