January 5, 2006
1. On Friday, December
30 at approximately 8:30 p.m., the Mexican consulate in San
Diego, California was told by the Border Patrol that one of its
agents had fired on an individual who then entered Mexico.
2. The consulate learned that Mr. Guillermo Martínez Rodríguez
had entered the United States between San Ysidro and Otay from
Colonia Libertad in Tijuana.
3. After being wounded by a Border Patrol agent, Guillermo
Martínez returned to Mexico and was taken to the Red Cross in
Tijuana where he died at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Saturday,
December 31. Guillermo Martínez was 20 years old. He was born in
Guadalajara, Jalisco and lived in Tijuana.
4. Following the Foreign Ministry’s procedures of consular
protection for this type of case, steps have been taken at the
local level and through diplomatic channels, the family is being
assisted and there has been coordination between institutions.
5. The Mexican government has said many times that it firmly
rejects the use of violence against its citizens abroad. Mexico
deeply regrets the death of Guillermo Martínez, condemns the
disproportionate use of force that led to this tragic event and
repeats that it will spare no efforts to investigate the case
and to make sure that justice is done.
6. As soon as the
consulate became aware of the incident, consular officials from
the Mexican consulate in San Diego went to the Red Cross in
Tijuana to provide Guillermo Martínez with any necessary
7. That same night, consular officials contacted Mr. Martínez’
family to offer assistance.
8. The consulate also immediately asked the Border Patrol to
investigate the event.
9. In addition, the consulate contacted the San Diego Police
Department to request an investigation of the shooting, given
that the police department is also responsible for investigating
events that occur in San Diego.
10. At 2:30 a.m. on December 31st, the San Diego Police
Department issued a statement confirming that it was opening an
investigation. The communiqué states that once the investigation
has concluded the results will be sent to the U.S. Attorney
General’s office in San Diego.
11. On December 31st at approximately 11:00 a.m., consular
officials from Mexico’s consulate in San Diego at the Red Cross
Hospital in Tijuana, Baja California were told that Guillermo
Martínez Rodríguez had died.
12. After confirming Mr. Martínez’ death, the San Diego Border
Patrol was again reminded of the need for an exhaustive
investigation. The concern of the Mexican government for the
seriousness of the case was clearly communicated.
13. On January 1st, the Mexican consulate in San Diego repeated
in writing to the Border Patrol, the San Diego Police Department,
the Inspector General of the Justice Department and the San
Diego office of the U.S. Attorney General that an immediate and
broad investigation of Mr. Martínez’ death was needed.
14. Both the Border Patrol and the San Diego Police Department
have expressed their concern regarding the incident and have
confirmed that the corresponding investigations are underway.
15. On January 1st, representatives from the consulate, the Baja
California Justice Department and the San Diego Police
Department were present during the autopsy.
16. The Mexican consulate in San Diego remains in contact with
San Diego officials and with the Border Patrol there.
17. In addition, as part of the program of legal assistance,
lawyers who advise the consulate are analyzing the circumstances
of Mr. Martínez’ death and, together with his family, they are
deciding whether to follow either a civil or criminal legal
strategy in order to make sure that justice is done.
18. The Foreign Ministry is also in contact with various civil
defense organizations who are interested in the human rights
aspects of the case.
19. On January 3rd,
the Mexican embassy in the United States delivered a diplomatic
note to the State Department requesting an investigation of the
event and that the individuals responsible be brought to justice.
The note clearly states that the Mexican government condemns the
disproportionate use of force.
20. The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security
have told the Foreign Ministry that an investigation has been
opened into the event.
21. On January 4th, the U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza
Rice called Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez and Homeland
Security Secretary Michael Chertoff called the Mexican Secretary
of the Interior, Carlos Abascal, to say that the investigation
IV. Contact with Mr. Martínez’ family
22. The Mexican
consulate in San Diego contacted the victim’s brother
immediately, and later spoke with his mother and partner to
offer them consular assistance.
23. Given the family’s economic situation, the consulate
assisted with the funeral expenses in accordance with applicable
24. The consulate’s lawyers have contacted the victim’s family
in order to explain their possible legal options once the
investigation has reached a conclusion.
25. On January 2nd, personnel from the San Diego consulate’s
protection department coordinated an interview between the
detectives of the San Diego Police Department Homicide Unit, a
witness to the event and the victim’s brother. Two police
detectives, the consulate’s lawyer and consular personnel were
present at the interview. The interview was arranged at the
request of the Police Department detectives because they wanted
to hear the witness’ version of events.
26. In addition, today (January 5th), a statement was taken from
a second witness to the events.
V. Inter-institutional Coordination
27. The Baja
California Attorney General’s office began an investigation,
took the witness’ statement and conducted the autopsy. The
consulate was in contact with state authorities.
28. Later, and given the possibility that a criminal act had
taken place at the federal level, the case was given to the
federal Attorney General’s office in Mexico, which has opened an
investigation for the alleged crime of qualified homicide.
29. Mexico’s consulate in San Diego is the institutional channel
for the investigations that are being conducted in both
countries and for inter-institutional cooperation between all