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Mexico demanded the U.S. investigate the death of a 14-year-old Mexican boy killed by a U.S. law enforcement agent near the countries’ shared border, the Foreign Ministry said.
The boy was shot and killed yesterday after a group of people suspected of sneaking across the border into the U.S. struck Border Patrol agents with rocks along a river bank at the crossing between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said in an e-mailed statement.
The FBI is conducting a full investigation of the clash, which occurred at 6:30 p.m. local time, spokeswoman Andrea Simmons said. The FBI is leading the probe because it has jurisdiction for any assault on federal officers, she said.
“Independently of whether there was an attack or not by these kids, bullets against rocks isn’t the right response,” Jose Reyes Ferriz, the mayor of Ciudad Juarez, said in an interview with the Milenio television network.
U.S. authorities are increasing their use of force against suspected immigrants on the border, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in its statement. The number of Mexicans killed or injured by U.S. officials at the border has increased to 17 this year from 12 all of last year and five in 2008, the ministry said.
“The growing frequency of this type of incident reflects a worrying increase in excessive use of force on the part of some authorities in the border area,” the ministry said. “The use of firearms to repel attacks with stones represents disproportionate use of force.”
The U.S. plans to deploy as many as 1,200 additional National Guard troops to the border with Mexico to support law enforcement as the administration of President Barack Obama seeks to make border security a central part of its attempt to push an overhaul of immigration laws through Congress.
Senate Democratic leaders last month announced the outlines of immigration legislation that would bolster border security and later provide a way for many of the 11 million undocumented workers in the U.S. to become American citizens.
More than 22,000 people have been killed in violence in Mexico related to organized crime since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006, according to the U.S. State Department. Much of the violence is tied to rival gangs battling for control of territory and smuggling routes into the U.S.