Border Patrol under fire

Officials: Attacked immigrants were surrendering.
Associated Press
Mar 15, 2014

 

An immigrant woman, her daughter and another girl who said they were kidnapped and assaulted by a border patrol agent were in the process of surrendering to the agent when their ordeal began, another Border Patrol agent and a federal law enforcement official said Friday.

Agent Esteban Manzanares, who officials say committed suicide early Thursday morning, is accused of driving the three away from the river after they surrendered and assaulting them. The other agent said Manzanares cut the wrists of the adult woman, assaulted one teenager in the group, and then fled the area with a second teenage girl.

The Honduran embassy in Washington, D.C., said the three are a mother, her underage daughter and another girl not related to them. The FBI has said the three were in the U.S. illegally.

The woman who had escaped the attack and walked further upriver tripped a camera at the border fence shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday, the agent and law enforcement official said.

They said in the camera image a woman can be seen walking toward a gap in the fence. The border agent said there was blood covering her wrists. Within 10 minutes of the camera image being taken, agents responded to the woman and began the search, the border agent and federal official said.

The federal law enforcement official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to talk about the case because the FBI was leading the investigation. The border agent spoke on condition of anonymity because the agent was not allowed to speak to the media because of the ongoing investigation.

Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency of which the Border Patrol is part, has said that when it found the woman she told them she had been attacked by a man. The federal official said the woman described the man as wearing green fatigues. Border Patrol agents wear green uniforms. She also described a vehicle that the federal official said authorities believed to be a Border Patrol vehicle.

The official and the agent said a search was quickly launched in the area for the other two victims. One of the teenagers was found near the border in the brush, and hours later the second girl was located in Manzanares' home in Mission, the federal official and the agent said. Mission is a suburb of McAllen, close to the Texas-Mexico border about 350 miles from Houston.

When authorities approached the agent's apartment, they heard gunfire. A short time later, when investigators went into the apartment, they found him dead and rescued the other girl.

A CBP official told The Associated Press that the agent was on duty when he encountered the females and that his shift had ended by the time authorities showed up at his house and he shot himself. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing investigation by the FBI.

Karol Escalante, a spokeswoman for the Honduran embassy in Washington, D.C., said the three Hondurans are recovering at a hospital in McAllen. She would not elaborate on their injuries.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said in a statement Friday that such acts are not representative of Border Patrol agents. He added that the agency is working to make sure the victims receive proper care.

"I am deeply sorry that this incident occurred and am committed to doing everything in my power to prevent incidents like this from occurring again," he said.

The Border Patrol agent who participated in the search said Manzanares was assigned to Anzalduas Park. The FBI said it is awaiting an autopsy report on Manzanares, who the Border Patrol said had been with the agency since 2008.

In a statement in Spanish, the Honduran foreign ministry condemned the assaults and kidnapping and asked the U.S. government for a thorough investigation, for psychological and medical assistance for the victims, for financial compensation and for legal immigration status for the victims.

"Lastly, the government of Honduras calls on the U.S. government to protect the human rights of immigrants, whatever their migratory status might be because all countries — their authorities in particular — are obligated to respect the dignity of human beings," the statement concludes.

The number of apprehensions by the Border Patrol —a figure commonly used to gauge the ebb and flow of illegal border crossers — rose by 16 percent last year to 420,789 people detained. More than half of those arrests were made in Texas.

Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher said last October that much of the increase was due to a rise in the number of people from Central America trying to enter the U.S. in South Texas.

While apprehensions of Mexican nationals remained fairly steady, arrests of immigrants from other countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, rose 55 percent. Limited economic opportunities and widespread gang and drug cartel violence in Central America have driven tens of thousands north along a dangerous route through Mexico.

___

Juan Carlos Llorca reported from El Paso. Associated Press reporter Christopher Sherman in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.

 

Comments

downthemiddle

Why was there a gap in the fence? (para 5)

Capt. Ford

What is the point of this article being posted on the local news? I am not a fan of CBP and I have had numerous encounters over the years since 03, they have become somewhat less aggressive the last two years in this area, this winter there was quite a bit of cross border ice traffic and they didn't get their panties in a bunch.

Matt Westerhold

The purpose, as with most news stories, Capt. Ford,  is to inform readers. In the case of the Border Patrol, news stories also will hopefully spur legislators in Washington to put an end to the abusive operations of federal police agencies.

WinstonSmith's picture
WinstonSmith

Matt, is Posse Comitatus still a restriction on federal power or is it completely irrelevant with today's brain-dead, MK-Ultra public school automatons?

2cents's picture
2cents

"end to the abusive operations of federal police agencies."

Rogue cop gone bad, why blame them all?

Maggdi

And I would agree that you should keep your readers informed. The powers that our government bureaucracy has acquired over the last 15 years deserves to be monitored.
But since I read the Register frequently, I have to question the neutrality of the choices that are made as to what is offered and frequency of a perspective that can at least borders on the offensive for those who hold a less than progressive view point. I do sympathize that the Register has a financial obligation to the AP. And the AP, in my opinion, has shown it's self to have a questionable obligation to a neutral delivery.
As to your second point of holding someone's feet to the fire, I didn't notice you making much fuss into the coincidental up tick in gun violence in our southern neighbor's country at about the same time our 'government' was facilitating the transfer of around 3k weapons into Mexico

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the comment Maggdi. The Register isn't required to publish any AP stories but since the abuses by the Border Patrol extend from Texas to Ohio, we'll likely publish every one that becomes available. Since the Border Patrol and other federal agencies refuse to observe Ohio disclosure laws it makes reporting the abuses difficult, but abuses are well documented nonetheless, and these are not isolated incidents. The abuse is a practice. Being opposed to that is not really a "progressive" view, since the U.S. Constitution guarantees certain rights for all citizens and other human beings. The Border Patrol and other federal agencies don't recognize those Constitutional rights. If anything, being opposed to the unregulated practices is a truly conservative point of view, or, more aptly, an American view. 

Maggdi

I give you that your reporting on our law enforcement officials is necessary and welcome. I have been certain since the travesty of the 'Patriot Act' and the creation of DHS that we have willingly become subjects to an ever growing bureaucracy that justifies its existence by suggesting they are all that's standing between us and the evils of this world. Unfortunately the amount of power they have been given now presents the opportunity for abuses from the same ones who are supposed to protect and serve.
I agree that this behemoth has become unresponsive to public oversight. So please keep investigating and reporting these possible abuses. But the corpse starts rotting from the head and so I hope to see more reporting in the future on subjects such as 'Fast and Furious', the IRS targeting conservatives and a president who tells us that he can do what he wants with a phone and a pen

Contango

Re: "the travesty of the 'Patriot Act' and the creation of DHS,"

FYI:

"U.S. to Cede Its Oversight of Addresses on Internet"

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/1...

Why the change?

Because of NSA snooping on foreign allies and the rest of the world increasingly sees the U.S. as a police state.

Contango

Re: "end to the abusive operations of federal police agencies."

Reads like this article along with your comments paint with a very wide brush leading to fallacies.

And we end the "abusive" practices of the coyotes and the illegals with violent criminal backgrounds how?

Real easy to sit in Sandusky and judge.

One of the reasons TX originally joined the Union was for help with border security.

Simple Enough II

Contango, I agree with you in regards to the abuses by the "coyotes" and other smugglers abusing the illegal aliens especially the females. Mexico itself has a problem with Illegals now as coming from a Mexican national in a conversation I had with him awhile back, the illegals used to gather through out the day at certain intersections in their town and would be gone come morning on their way north to our country, but then they just started staying and that had them upset...Want to stop illegal aliens,
1. heavily fine those that hire, house or support them, jail time also especially those running companies.
2. purge the welfare rolls, if you can work so be it, no free rides, etc, not everyone can be a graphics designer, rock star or record label producer, earn your way. then if we need folks to fill positions allow work visa's, but not at the working man's expense.
3. Review our immigration policies, why are we allowing so many folks from the middle east and Africa to immigrate here and we support them, yet they don't assimilate?

Westender

Another article about Illegal immigrants.
http://www.themonitor.com/news/l...

Contango

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

- George Orwell

Dr. Information

I wonder when the SR will continuously do articles on here about the criminal Eric Holder and fast and furious and how its been a big government coverup?

KURTje

No *hit pooh. That's what we do . Though it would be for daughter & grandchildren, not you if I had my way. MK Ultra? Right up your alley in the execution of said program. It even paralleled the T-4 program. (eugenics)

Contango

Re: "MK Ultra" "T-4 program"

Nonsensical off-topic blather.

Amythe K

Border Patrol needs as much real press as it can get. Every encounter I have had with them has been negative. They are bullyish,rude and take full advantage of the power they have. This area has city,county, highway and state law endforcement coverage as well as national with FBI enough already! Get to the borders and check for contraband...otherwise leave American citizens alone

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

"In a statement in Spanish, the Honduran foreign ministry condemned the assaults and kidnapping and asked the U.S. government for a thorough investigation, for psychological and medical assistance for the victims, for financial compensation and for legal immigration status for the victims."

Condemnation - check
Investigation - still with ya
Medical treatment - for sure
Psychological treatment - Uh, ok? I guess so as part of the above
Financial compensation - For what if the above is provided, on what grounds, and in what amount for which reason(s)?
Legal immigration status - Say what now?!

It would be a better signal that the embassy of Honduras seeks to help its own citizens to legally immigrate to our country through proper channels instead of demanding that because of the actions of a criminal, rogue agent they just deserve our citizenship (and revocation of theirs) with no other reason, intent, or purpose.

What happened to these people is deplorable, especially since it was a government agent that committed these crimes. But this could have been avoided if this woman didn't endanger herself or the young girls by illegally crossing at least three borders risking life and limb to nature, human/sex slavers, etc. Where is the government of Honduras in assisting their own people to legally and safely migrate to U.S. instead of blaming us for their own failure to assist and educate their own citizens?

As much I see people decry bad parents here locally for doing stupid things at home or in a car around kids, how is this woman any different in what she did to those kids? Not that it would necessarily be any better if it was just her as a legal adult but to do this to children is irresponsible at best.

Simple Enough II

Because what you suggest is logical and reeks of common sense, so it won't fly.