In Cold Blood, US Border Patrol Agent On Trial for Murder
UPDATE: Tuesday, November 4, 2008. A mistrial was declared today after a jury deadlocked in the case of a Border Patrol agent accused of murdering Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera without provocation. U.S Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Corbett faced charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide. Three eyewitnesses testified the 22-year-old was shot as he was kneeling to surrender for Corbett to arrest him and the three others. It was the second mistrial in the case.
Article and photo by Brenda Norrell
TUCSON -- US Border Patrol agent Nicholas Corbett is on trial for the murder of Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera, 22, from Morelia, Mexico. Eyewitnesses said the border agent shot the youth in cold blood, without provocation.
At a shrine in front of the courthouse, family members and supporters are gathered to remember the youth and speak of the impunity that US Border Agents are operating under, as they murder people of Mexico. On Wednesday, Roy Warden, who previously burned Mexican flags with the Minutemen at human rights marches here, gathered with others in front of the courthouse to harass and yell at the family and their supporters.
This is not the first time a person from Mexico has been murdered in cold blood by US Border Patrol agents at the US/Mexico border. This time, there were witnesses when Border Agent Corbett shot the youth in the chest at close range on Jan. 12, 2007, in the Sonoran Desert near Douglas, Arizona.
Family and supporters said there is a poisonous atmosphere of racism in the United States.
"We are talking about a poisoned atmosphere against immigrants," Isabel Garcia, cochair of Derechos Humanos, said during an interview outside the federal courthouse. Garcia compared today's racism toward migrants with the pre-Civil Rights era in the south.
Garcia said border agents are murdering and getting away with murder.
"We are living in really, really, dangerous times," Garcia said. "This case is about accountability, this case is about impunity. That is the bottom line."
Attorneys are presenting their final arguments today, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. Corbett is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide. His first trial ended in a mistrial after another jury deadlocked.
Listen online to today's interviews from the street, outside the courthouse, at the shrine for Francisco Javier:
Photo: Shrine for Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera outside the federal courthouse in Tucson. Photo Brenda Norrell.