Thursday, June 30, 2011

Flagrant Human Rights Violations on U.S. Soil

When most people think of the U.S.-Mexico border, they rarely think about a zone where U.S. policy and U.S. agents violate human rights on a daily basis.

In the border region it is common practice. I know it doesn’t sound possible or true, but it is real and happens regularly. Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The term “no one” means without exception, without conditions, without justification — no one.

Over a year ago, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas was being deported to Tijuana, Mexico. U.S. official reports stated he was resisting and became combative. Officers used a tazer to subdue him. Anastasio was brain dead by the following day and the San Diego coroner ruled the death a homicide. Eyewitness accounts and video contradict the official report. According to many who saw the gruesome scene, Anastasio was held down by four officers, face down, while handcuffed behind his back. He was repeatedly shot with a tazer, kicked in the ribs and head and eventually fell unconscious. He left behind five U.S. citizen children. To date, no officers involved have been prosecuted and all details of the case remain confidential. Anastasio was unarmed.

Some may say Anastasio was in the country illegally and got what he deserved. That argument suggests we throw away the entire Declaration of Human Rights signed and co-authored by the United States over 60 years ago. The document was modeled after the U.S. Declaration of Independence where it is recognized, “all men are created equal.” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and implemented by the United States and many other countries as a result of the atrocities of World War II so they would never be repeated under any circumstances or justification. Human rights protect all in all circumstances. Full Article >>>

Location: Cayman Islands