Sep 02 2014
The US Border Patrol is facing a $40 million lawsuit that was brought last week over the fatal shooting of an unarmed Mexican man two years ago along the Rio Grande riverbank. Although Border Patrol had claimed that Guillermo Arévalo Pedraza was part of a group of rock-throwers who posed a serious threat to patrol agents, his family members have said that he was only celebrating at a birthday party.
At the time, Patrol agents had been using a boat to try and detain a man who had been swimming in the river back towards Mexico. Pedraza’s family claimed however, that the agency was using the boat to drown the swimmer and as his family protested from across the river, agents fired gunshots into the group and killed Pedraza.
This story is illustrative of the overreach of the United States Border Patrol, discussed in detail in Todd Miller’s extensively researched new book, Border Patrol Nation. Miller discusses the ever-expanding militarization of our Border Patrol, and the vague policies that allow them to monitor locations far beyond our border with Mexico.
GUEST: Todd Miller has reported on US border issues for more than 15 years and has published his work in the New York Times, Mother Jones, the Nation, Tom Dispatch, and Salon. His book is entitled Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Homeland Security. Today we’ll hear part 1 of a 2 part conversation.