Chihuahua officials seek extradition of border agent in the ’10 shooting death of teenager

May 4, 2012

El Paso Times on May 4, 2012 released the following:

“By Marisela Ortega Lozano and Aaron Bracamontes

Chihuahua’s governor on Thursday demanded that a U.S. Border Patrol agent charged with murder in Juárez in the shooting death of a teenager on the banks of the Río Grande be sent to Mexico to stand trial.

The agent’s El Paso lawyer said that will not happen.

“He is a U.S. citizen, and he was an agent of the United States Border Patrol acting in his capacity,” said lawyer Randy Ortega. “I don’t believe there is any treaty or pact that would allow him to be extradited.”

On Thursday, Chihuahua Gov. César Duarte said he wants the agent, Jesus Mesa, extradited to answer for the death of Sergio Adrián Güereca, 15.

Mesa has been charged with murder by the Chihuahua officials and faces 20 to 25 years in prison if convicted.

“From here (Juárez), we demand that the Mexican government seek extradition of border patrol agent Jesus Mesa to be prosecuted in Chihuahua,” Duarte said in a news release. “We have enough evidence to put Mesa on trial here in Chihuahua.”

On June 7, 2010, Mesa was patrolling on a bicycle along the Rio Grande when he came upon a group of boys, who included Güereca. The boys were running up a concrete spillway of the Rio Grande and touching a chain-link fence on the U.S. side.

When Mesa took one of the boys into custody, the rest of the group allegedly began to throw rocks at the agent. Mesa then fired at the group, striking Güereca twice, once fatally in the head.

The incident was recorded on a cellphone and shown on Mexican television.

“Since the U.S. often claims human-rights alleged violations against their citizens abroad, that is enough for President Obama to surrender this agent,” Duarte said.

Duarte asked Mexican Interior Department Secretary Alejandro Poiré to demand extradition of Mesa. At this point, it’s not known whether Mexico has officially asked that the U.S. government hand Mesa over to Mexican authorities.

In recent years, Mexico has extradited to the United States many Mexican citizens who were wanted on drug-smuggling, murder and other charges.

“There will be justice” for Güereca, Duarte vowed. “Chihuahua’s government is starting this fight and we are going to make justice; there is already a warrant arrest against Mesa.”

However Mesa’s lawyer, Ortega, said he does not think his client will be extradited.

“I always believed they would do this in order to gain media publicity,” Ortega said. “I think it’s more a deflection tactic.”

Mesa has been cleared of any wrongdoing by U.S. authorities, including all civil and criminal charges, and he is no longer under investigation in the U.S.

If Mexico does ask for an extradition, Ortega said, he will work with the Justice Department, but he fully expects the extradition to be dismissed.

According to Chihuahua officials in Juárez, the boy’s mother, María Guadalupe Güereca, approached Duarte during a law and safety forum in Juárez and asked him to prosecute Mesa.

“I hope you can help us,” Güereca was quoted as saying in the news release. “I don’t want money, but justice for my son. I want the agent to be punished. My son was not a smuggler at all. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.””


Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.


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