Jose Palafox -
Until lions have their own historians, histories of the hunt will glorify the hunter. -- African proverb
Introduction: The Border Patrol's "Battle Plan" en la Frontera 1
ON MAY 20, 1997, CLEMENTE BANUELOS, A U.S. MARINE ON AN ANTIDRUG operation, shot and killed 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez, Jr., in Redford, Texas. Banuelos was a member of Joint Task Force-6 (JTF-6), a federal agency that coordinates antinarcotics operations between the Border Patrol and the military. Although Border Patrol and Marine officials claimed that Hernandez shot at the Marine surveillance team, an autopsy report suggests that Hernandez could not have done so. Banuelos' attorney stated that while Hernandez had no previous criminal history, he fit the profile of a drug trafficker that was given to the marines in their training for missions on the border (Los Angeles Times, 1997). Meanwhile, government officials described the killing as an unfortunate, but justified act of self-defense. "This was in strict compliance with the rules of engagement," said Marine Col. Thomas R. Kelly, deputy commander of the military's anti-drug task force (Katz, 1997: A19).