PBS exposes US Border Patrol torture, sexual abuse and cruelty
By Brenda Norrell
Friday, July 20, 2012
PBS' Need to Know, Crossing the Line, Part II, exposes US Border Patrol agents' torture, sexual abuse of migrants, and pouring out life-saving water in the desert. Watch program here: http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/07/pbs-exposes-border-patrol-torture.html )
PBS exposes how a Border Patrol agent sexually abused a migrant entering at Las Cruces, N.M., for 15 minutes, calling her "baby." Then, when the woman went to view the lineup of agents to file charges in El Paso, she was taken into a room alone and searched by agents to intimidate her.
The interviews expose that even US citizens are harassed by US Border Patrol agents.
A Border Patrol agent whistleblower in Tucson said migrants were crammed into cells, even when other cells were empty. Food and water was denied migrants in custody for up to two days, the whistleblower said.
Migrants in Nogales describe the demeaning verbal abuse from agents, and also migrants screaming to be let out of hot, overcrowded cells. One young man describes how he was denied medical treatment after being lost for three days, and was dehydrated and vomiting blood.
The Red Cross is now in Nogales, Mexico, treating migrants who are sick because of the Border Patrol abuse and who have been beaten by US Border Patrol agents. It was this fact -- that the Red Cross responded -- that led PBS to expand their investigation.
In one video excerpt, US Border Patrol agent David Kermes is shown pouring out life-saving water left for migrants in the desert. On Kermes Facebook page, he posted a photo of migrants, with these words: "Run you little bastards."
A hidden camera placed by the humanitarian group No More Deaths shows a female Border Patrol agent kicking gallons of water over, which could save the lives of migrants, and down into a ravine.
PBS exposes how detained migrants were forced to stand in stress positions for three hours, which is a form of torture. Migrants were forced to kneel on bottle caps in one form of torture.
Border Patrol cameras were covered at the time to prevent exposure of the agents.
The PBS program exposes the same facts that Native Americans living on the US/Mexico border have also exposed. Tohono O'odham human rights activists have been exposing the harassments, assaults and abuse for years. Formal complaints have been filed with Homeland Security by O'odham, following the assaults on O'odham on their own land by US Border Patrol agents.
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