Human Rights Violation or Self Inflicted Harm?

The events of November 18, 2013 have ignited furious debate since video footage has surfaced. 16-year-old Cruz Velazquez attempted to smuggle two bottles of liquid Methamphetamine across the US-Mexico border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The high school student looks nervous as he fails the first check in and is escorted to a more intensive inspection. The two border patrol officers questioned Velazquez as to the contents of the two bottles. “Apple juice,” was his response. The female officer is seen motioning to him, presumably to drink the liquid. Velazquez sipped from the larger of the two bottles a total of four times. Within minutes the effects of a Methamphetamine overdose began to show. Velazquez started sweating, spiked a 105 temperature and screamed “my heart.” Within approximately 120 minutes, despite emergency medical attention, Velazquez died.

DTR Community: What do you think?

The tragedy is swimming in controversy. Some claim that border patrol is to blame for the death of the teenager, while other see fault in the Mexican national.

Since Velazquez died, we have no way of knowing if this was his first-time smuggling drugs or why he did it. Did he knowingly drink a lethal amount of an illegal substance? Was he drinking the liquid Methamphetamine out of fear of imprisoned or from words from the border patrol agents not documented by the camera?

Border patrol might certainly have benefited in this situation from performing a drug test on the questioned liquid. However, San Ysidro Port of Entry sees 75,000 people cross each day. San Ysidro is a district of the City of San Diego, immediately north of the U.S.-Mexico border. This is a hot bed for smuggling.

Is it reasonable to expect that a drug test be performed on every bottle of water, soda and liquid that crosses from Mexico or just some and how do we determine which ones get tested? Was the presumed assumption that Velazquez would not drink the questioned liquid if it was dangerous a criminal act on the part of the border patrol agents?

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