Officials, advocates: Angry mob at border organized to provoke agents, capture violence on camera

Protest planned a week ago, 10News learned

SAN DIEGO - Video of an angry mob at the U.S.-Mexico border was an attempt to provoke border agents and catch it on video, border officials and immigrant advocates told 10News.

In the video shot last Sunday, protesters are seen storming the international border and confronting agents, yelling and throwing rocks and bottles.

Border officials told 10News whether it was an attempt to cross the border or attack agents, the event had been organized for a week.

"Look at that, there's a man with crutches ... the baby; some people look like they're ready to go; just a few people instigating this whole thing," said immigrant advocate and Border Angels founder Enrique Moronnes.

Morones said he is disturbed by the tense situation that unfolded on video between agents and the large group of migrants on Sunday.

"Push, provoke and film. I think the filming part of this was very important to this group of people," he said.

Morones said a flier passed out a week ago encouraged deportees to storm the border and reunite with loved ones in the United States.

"There's a right way to protest and a wrong way to protest. These people just wanted to get the agents on video using force," said Morones.

Border Patrol Union leader Gabriel Pacheco said the protesters had broken the law, adding, "This game of cat-and-mouse is going beyond that … to provoke agents to use deadly force I think is very silly. I think there are other means to get their point across."  

Pacheco said the mob crossed the international border despite warnings from agents. Protesters threw objects, while agents used rubber bullets and pepper gas. No one was seriously injured on either side.

"It's their responsibility, whatever actions that group takes, whatever happens and the outcomes of that, from an attack on Border Patrol agents, they may not be as lucky this time." said Pacheco.

Both agents and Morones told 10News they agree the Border Patrol showed great restraint. They said the instigators of Sunday's event should be held accountable.

Morones said the Border Angels condemn the organizers' actions.

"It's more like propaganda for their own self interests, not taking the situation of these people's lives and what a high risk it was, they weren't thinking about the people, they were thinking about themselves," said Morones.

 

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