A $1 million settlement was green-lighted earlier this year by a federal judge on behalf of five children whose father, a 42-year-old Mexican man, died in 2010 following a confrontation with Border Patrol agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
But the family of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas has also been asking, unsuccessfully, that the U.S. government admit fault.
Now an international human rights commission has stepped in and asked the U.S. government to respond to allegations that it violated human rights in the death case, KPBS is reporting.
“We are alleging that the United States is not only responsible for the killing but that federal agents tortured Anastasio, that the United States obstructed justice and failed to adequately repair the damages that it caused through its actions and inactions,” said Roxanna Altholz, an attorney for the family who was quoted by KPBS.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights notified the family earlier this month that it would look into the family’s complaints, KPBS reported. The U.S. government has three months to respond to the allegations, according to the KPBS report.
Hernandez Rojas had been living in San Diego for about 20 years but was deported. He was detained in May 2010 after trying to cross the border illegally.
Officers with the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement allege Hernandez Rojas was difficult and struggled with them during the incident. They struck him with batons and repeatedly shocked him with a Taser gun while he was prone and shackled at the San Diego border-crossing facility on May 28, 2010.
He passed out and stopped breathing during the protracted struggle, and three day later he died after his family decided to take him off life support.
In November 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not pursue criminal charges against federal agents involved in the death.
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