Nineteen-year-old Juan Patricio Peraza Quijada made it across the border to the Anunciación House, but he never made it back to his home in Mexicali, Baja California.
Witnesses at Anunciación House reported that Peraza was walking out of the building to the parking lot to take out the garbage on Wednesday, February 26, when two Border Patrol agents grabbed and searched him. When one agent turned away, Peraza ran, for unknown reasons. Four border patrol vehicles appeared almost immediately. Witnesses say agents drew their weapons and surrounded Peraza, who grabbed a bar and held it up in a defensive position and started to back away. One of the agents fired two shots, killing Peraza.
Several of the about 50 migrants staying at Anunciación House were standing on the roof and watching. They insisted that at no time did Peraza threaten the agents.
After the shooting, officers asked some of the witnesses to come to the police station to make statements. Although police reportedly promised to return the witnesses to Anunciación House, they checked their documents and took one woman to jail. García said that he called several lawyers and other officials and finally succeeded in getting back the witnesses.
Bishop Renato Ascencio Leon of Ciudad Juírez, and chairman of the Migration Committee of the Mexican Bishops, denounced the killing as "a crime, an assassination." In the United States, he added, "Mexicans are constantly abused. This is a mentality that must be changed."
Bishop Armando Ochoa of El Paso did not return calls to the Current.
"With the prewent political climate of the Homeland Security and the Patriot Act," says Ruben García of the Anunciación House, "We feel that organizations like ours will be targeted more often."