Family remembers teen killed by border agent as Supreme Court prepares to hear 2010 case

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Family gathered to honor the life of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca at the Paso Del Norte Bridge, where a border agent shot and killed him in 2010.

The family said Sunday, Sept. 29 would’ve been Guereca’s 25th birthday.

As KTSM previously reported, Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. shot Guereca, 14, after he and others reportedly threw rocks at him from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.

According to CNN, Guereca had a history of involvement with human smuggling and was on a list of repeat juvenile offenders. On the day of the shooting, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mark Qualia told CNN that Guereca had been apprehended by U.S. officials on more than one occasion but was never criminally charged, said.

The family of Guereca has said he was messing around with his friends, playing a game in which they ran down the culvert from the Mexican side and up the American side to touch a fence.

The Justice Department declined to pursue criminal charges against Mesa and also rejected a request to extradite the agent for trial in Mexico, according to the Associated Press and various news reports.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear the family’s case in October to decide if Sergio’s parents have constitutional rights to sue in a civil case, and will also affect lawsuits for five other victims killed by Border Patrol in Mexico.

“If they say they do have constitutional rights then those lawsuits will go forward if they say they don’t have constitutional rights then it’ll be a very serious violation of international law,” Richard Boren of the Border Patrol Victim’s Network said.

Guereca’s mother said she has not stopped fighting for justice in the nearly 10-year-old case.

“It’s been the worst thing in my life but I’ll keep fighting until God helps me and brings justice for him,” Maria Guadalupe Guereca said.

The U.S. Supreme Court is reopening the case; it’s set to be heard during the term that begins in October.

This is the second time justices will consider the dispute.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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