Families Protest Alleged Border Patrol Brutality

Family members whose loved ones were killed or seriously injured by Border Patrol and CBP agents rallied in protest Saturday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The families are in San Diego for two days of demonstrations and meetings with government officials regarding alleged Border Patrol brutality.

Saturday’s protest ran from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Families were joined by human rights organizations, including Alliance San Diego. Together, the group plans to take their concerns to Washington, D.C., to speak about how alleged out-of-control border enforcement has affected their lives.

During the gathering, the group chanted: "We want justice! We want justice!"

They chanted near Border Patrol agents at the port of entry, hoping to get their message heard loud and clear.

The family members leading the protest are linked to several local high-profile cases involving accusations of Border Patrol brutality.

This includes Porfirio Hernandez and Maria de Luz Rojas, parents of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a man who was allegedly beaten and tased by BP and CBP agents in May 2010. His widow, Maria Puga, is also protesting.

Family members of Carlos Lamadrid, who was allegedly shot and killed by agents in March 2011, also rallied, as well as Shena Gutierrez, wife of Jose Gutierrez – who was allegedly beaten and tased into a coma in March 2011.

Valentin Tachiquin, father of Valeria Tachiquin-Alvarado also took part in the demonstration.

Tachiquin-Alvarado, a local mother of five, was killed in an agent-involved shooting in Chula Vista on September 28, 2012. Her family has publicly expressed outrage over the shooting and filed a wrongful death claim against the Border Patrol last October.

On Monday, family, faith leaders and human rights advocates plan to travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with policymakers and continue seeking justice for the deaths and injuries of their loved ones.

NBC 7 reached out to CBP officials for comment on this local protest and they released the following statement:

“All accusations of misconduct are taken seriously, and are investigated as thoroughly as possible. In most circumstances, after an investigation of wrong-doing, agents and officers were found to have conducted themselves appropriately. However any CBP agent or officer within our ranks that does not adhere to the highest standards of conduct will be identified and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Mistreatment or misconduct by a CBP agent or officer will not be tolerated in any way. We appreciate the efforts of individuals to report concerns as soon as they arise and we will continue to cooperate fully with any effort to investigate allegations of misconduct."

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