The Inter-American Commission decides to proceed with an open hearing in the case of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas on November 4th


October 28, 2022 — In the first case against the United States for an extrajudicial killing, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to proceed with a public hearing on November 4th at 1 pm (San Diego time). The Commission’s decision comes after more than 200 organizations submitted a letter in support of an open hearing to counter the U.S. government’s objections. The case focuses on Anastasio Hernández Rojas, who was a San Diego resident for 25 years until border agents tortured and killed him in front of dozens of people without any consequence, leaving his family without justice.

This case may set a precedent to hold accountable the largest law enforcement agency in the United States, which in the last century has never sanctioned a border agent for killing migrants, citizens, travelers, women, children and men. This case may also pave the way for policy reform to align the use-of-force standards in the U.S. with international human rights standards that require force to be ‘necessary and proportional’, not just ‘reasonable’.

Although the Commission had already called a public hearing for November 4th, the United States asked the Commission to close the doors to the public. María Puga, Anastasio’s widow, replied last week, “If they murdered my beloved Anastasio in public, they should answer in public.” Upon receiving the Commission’s decision today, Maria said:

Thank you to the Commission for having decided that the hearing will be public so that everyone will know what really happened on May 28, 2010. We invite everyone to attend this hearing. This case is not only about the murder of Anastasio, but about a pattern of abuse and impunity that has taken the lives of thousands of people and continues to happen in the United States.

The hearing will be livestreamed to the public on the IACHR website. Media are invited to view the hearing online or with the community that will be in San Diego. The family will hold a press conference following the hearing. Media can attend the conference in-person or online.

IACHR Hearing
Anastasio Hernández Rojas v. United States
Friday, November 4, 2022
1 p.m. in San Diego
View online here