Drug Policy Forum of Texas

1425 Blalock Road
Suite 109
Houston, Tx 77055-4446

Go to DPFT Home Page
(713) 784-3196
or toll-free
(888) 511-DPFT

Serving the public by providing information and expert opinion about legal and illegal drugs
and the issues surrounding them.

Drug Policy Forum of Texas focus on the
Esequiel Hernandez killing

One year after the killing of Esequiel Hernandez by US Marines, Amnesty International issued the report:
Human Rights Violations on the US-Mexico Border.

US Marine Corps' report on the Hernandez shooting:
The Coyne Report.

Photographic Gallery of Shooting Site
Update from Redford, Texas
Websites about Militarization of the Drug War

    DPFT President Jerry Epstein:
    Another Innocent Victim of the War on Drugs
    DPFT Director Kevin Zeese:
    Where Does the Slippery Slope of Militarization Lead?

Media Articles and Editorials

Austin Chronicle (Texas), December 25, 1998
Fatal Error: The Pentagon's War on Drugs Takes a Toll on the Innocent

by Monte Paulsen, National Editor of Alternative Media Inc.
NOTE: Previously published September 10, 1998 in the San Antonio Current as "DRUG WAR MASQUERADE."
Notable quote: "When Esequiel Hernandez Jr. died, he became the first civilian killed by U.S. troops since the student massacre at Kent State University in 1970. His death led to a temporary suspension of troop patrols near the U.S.-Mexican border. A nd last month, the government paid his family $1.9 million to settle a wrongful death claim.

... The war that Esequiel Hernandez wandered into is not confined to the U.S.-Mexican border. The Pentagon spends about $1 billion a ye ar fighting drugs. JTF-6 has conducted missions in 30 states and the Caribbean territories. An estimated 4,000 National Guard troops are involved in 1,300 counter-drug operations nationwide. And 89% of police departments now have paramilitary "SWAT" teams, which primarily serve drug warrants. In spite of all this, the drugs are winning. The availability and potency of hard drugs such as her oin and cocaine has skyrocketed over the past decade. At the same time, street prices have fallen. The United Nations estimates the annual revenue generated by the illegal drug industry at $400 billion. That's 8% of the total international trade, or about the same size as the global automobile industry.

Houston Chronicle, May 22, 1998
Subpoenas OK'd in herder's shooting by Marine
by Steve Lash
Notable quote: "'Did someone really believe that a youth with a .22 rifle had decided to conduct a frontal assault on a team of United States Marines?' Smith said [Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio]. 'Did they think that their only option was to shoot him?'
    During the 20 minutes after firing his rifle, 'Hernandez moved slowly along a ridge, exposed from all sides,' Smith said. Meanwhile, the Marines 'shadowed him, maintaining their concealment,' he added. When Hernandez raised his rifle again, Marine Cpl. Clemente Banuelos from 150 yards away 'put the cross-hairs of his scoped M-16 on the youth's chest and pulled the trigger,' Smith said."

Associated Press, May 22, 1998
Military authorized to return to border patrol duty

Notable quote: "The House voted Thursday to authorize enlisting the military to help patrol U.S. borders in the war against drug smuggling and illegal immigration. Opponents said the plan could turn the U.S.-Mexican border into an armed corridor."

Houston Chronicle, February 27, 1998
Lawyer rips decision on border shooting
Justice Dept. apparently won't probe teen death
By THADDEUS HERRICK Houston Chronicle San Antonio Bureau
Notable quote: "'If an ordinary citizen were to kill an endangered species, the government would try to send him to prison,' said Bill Weinacht, a Pecos lawyer representing the family of Esequiel Hernandez. 'But when the government kills a good Mexican-American kid on the border, they let everyone walk away scot-free.'"

Houston Chronicle, February 26, 1998
Feds won't press charges in border shooting

Notable quote: "'The shooting death of Esequiel Hernandez remains troubling,' said Smith [Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio], who as chairman of the House immigration subcommittee has raised questions about the Border Patrol's role in the shooting. 'The public has a right to know who is responsible for this death. But no one is being held accountable.'"

Austin American Statesman (9/23/97)
More action needed in drug war
(A modest proposal to save America)

Houston Chronicle (9/11/97)
Probe of fatal border shooting is put on hold

Dallas Morning News (8/30/97)
FBI upgrades probe into border shooting
Full civil rights investigation planned in Marine's slaying of teen, agent says

Houston Chronicle (letter-to-editor, 8/27/97)
Military action no answer

Time Magazine (8/25/97)
A teen's death forces the military to question its role in fighting drugs

Corpus Christi Caller-Times (8/20/97)
Should the border be militarized?

Colorado Springs Gazette (8/20/97)
drug surveillance missions should be ended

Houston Chronicle (8/20/97)
Marines are trained to kill, not read people their rights

Dallas Morning News (8/16/97)
Civil rights reviewed in border case
Family of slain teen says justice not done

Waco Tribune-Herald (8/16/97)
Bad policy killed Zeke
Military shouldn't be used as border police force

Dallas Morning News (8/15/97)
Marine avoids indictment
Panel says he followed rules in border shooting

Houston Chronicle (8/15/97)
Marine is cleared in border shooting

Dallas Morning News (8/14/97)
Congressman says border slaying investigation being hindered
He calls Justice Department not cooperative in case involving teen shot by Marine

Associated Press (8/14/97)
Justice Department accused of stonewalling House panel

PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (transcript, 8/13/97)
Casualties of the Drug War

Associated Press (8/13/97)
3 Marines get immunity in border shooting case

Waco Tribune-Herald (letter-to-editor, 8/11/97)
Safe on border

San Diego Union Tribune (letters-to-editor, 8/7/97)
Two views of Marines on patrol at the border

San Jose Mercury News (8/4/97)
Killed... by the drug war

Waco Tribune-Herald (8/3/97)
Not on Border

Dallas Morning News (8/1/97)
Border troops: Decision to end military patrols is justified

New York Times (7/31/97)
Grand Jury to Examine Fatal Shooting of 18-Year-Old by Marine

Houston Chronicle (7/31/97)
Panel hears evidence in border case

USA Today (7/30/97)
Pentagon Pulls Troops Off Drug Patrols
Action Comes as Grand Jury Weighs Indictment of Marine

Washington Post (7/30/97)
Troops Pulled From Anti-Drug Patrols
Pentagon Action Rises Out of Killing of Border Resident by Marine

Houston Chronicle (7/30/97)
Pentagon ends patrol on border

Houston Chronicle (letter-to-editor, 7/26/97)
Marines survived teen

Houston Chronicle (7/24/97)
Attorney says Marine fired at border teen as `last resort'

Houston Chronicle (7/18/97)
Federal response satisfies border killing protesters

Houston Chronicle (7/17/97)
House panel plans probe of S.Texas border killing

Houston Chronicle (7/16/97)
Clinton adviser vows review of border tragedy
Official meets with family of slain teen [ONDCP director McCaffrey]

Houston Chronicle (7/15/97)
Shooting victim's sister, group seek to demilitarize border

The Orlando Sentinel (7/13/97)
Does anyone have the courage to say drug war is overblown?

Houston Chronicle (7/13/97)
Border shooting spurs new military training
Officials defend use of Marines in drug war

San Francisco Examiner (7/8/97)
Demilitarize the Mexican border

Oakland Tribune (7/8/97)
Emergency at the border

Dallas Morning News (7/7/97)
General defends Marine who killed teen
But civilian law enforcement might have avoided border shooting, he says

Houston Chronicle (7/1/97)
Steps in shooting of 18-year-old near Rio Grande retraced

New York Times (6/29/97)
In Marine's Killing of Teen-Ager, a Texas Border Town Mourns and Wonders Why

Austin American-Statesman (6/29/97)
Questions turn border tragedy into mystery

Associated Press (6/29/97)
Fatal shooting of goat herder by Marines enrages border town

Houston Chronicle (6/28/97)
Official calls border shooting `a mistake', then takes it back

Dallas Morning News (6/25/97)
Subpoena served in shooting

Houston Chronicle (6/24/97)
Teen shot by Marine at border bled to death, autopsy finds

Washington Post (6/22/97)
Questions on Military Role Fighting Drugs Ricochet From a Deadly Shot

Houston Chronicle (6/22/97)
Two cases this year raise questions about military's role on Rio Grande

Associated Press (6/21/97)
Rangers to Seek Indictment

The Detroit News (6/21/97)
Investigator: Marines waited 22 minutes to help teen-ager

Los Angeles Times & San Francisco Examiner (6/21/97)
Teen's death sours image of border drug war

El Paso Herald-Post (6/19/97)
Border killing protest seeks end to friendly fire

Houston Chronicle (6/15/97)
Military should not be assigned civilian police functions

Houston Chronicle (6/11/97)
Doubts raised on self-defense in border case

Dallas Morning News (6/04/97)
West Texas DA questions military account of slaying

Big Bend Sentinel (5/29/97)
Teachers remember Esequiel

Dallas Morning News (5/24/97)
More trained border agents, not military, needed

Groups Concerned about the Militarization of the Drug War

Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Seeking to establish a forum where policy alternatives to the war on drugs can be discussed by academicians, policy analysts, public office holders and other interested citizens. Maintains the DPF Texas discussion list, monthly newsletter (free 3 month subsciption), and the DPF Texas website as well as this Esequiel Hernandez Focus page.

Border Rights Coalition
109 North Oregon St. #302 El Paso, Tx 79901

The Border Rights Coalition works to monitor and document immigration enforcement abuse in the joined border cities of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and surrounding areas and to educate the public about the contributions and rights of all border residents.
Contact Debbie Nathan at dnathan@utep.edu or Suzan Kern at 915 577 0724 for info (f ax 915 577 0370).

Immigration Law Enforcement Monitoring Project
A project of the Ameri can Friends Service Committee

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.
Contact Maria Jimenez at 713 926 2799 or email afscilemp@igc.org

Drug Reform Coordination Network

Coordinating the myriad of groups in drug policy reform through use of the DRCNet website< /A> and internet mailing lists. DRCNet maintains the Schaffer drugLibrary, the "World's largest online drug policy library."
Contact Dave Borden (borden@intr.net)

Media Awareness Project
the media interaction component of DrugSense

Using the internet to shape media coverage and correct drug misinformation through MAP websit e, published letters-to-the-editors and broadcast media events. MAP maintains various media-related in ternet mailing lists and the MAP drugNews service, compiling and distri buting drug policy related media articles to activists.
Contact Mark Greer (mgreer@mapinc.org)

Other websites about the militarization of the drug war

On the one year anniversary of the killing of Esequiel Hernandez by US Marines, Amnesty International released a report on Human Rights Violations on the US-Mexico Border.

DRCNet's website on the miltarization of the drug war

American Friends Service Committee website on
National Days of Reflection on Military Violence on Mexico-U.S. Border

Sun Tzu's Esequiel Hernandez focus

Drug Policy Forum of Texas
1425 Blalock Road, Ste. 109
Houston, TX 77055-4446
Houston (713) 784-3196
Dallas (214) 827-1514
Contact G. Alan Robison, PhD