Judge Orders U.S. To Pay Mexican Man Shot By Border Patrol

By Jude Joffe-Block
February 11, 2015

A federal judge has ruled in a civil lawsuit that a former U.S. Border Patrol agent’s shooting of a Mexican man was unjustified. The judge ordered the federal government to pay the man almost half a million dollars in damages.

The decision comes amid increasing scrutiny on the Border Patrol's use of force. 

In 2010, former agent Abel Canales shot Jesus Castro in the lower back as he was caught crossing into Arizona illegally .

Canales claimed he fired his gun because Castro was about to throw a rock at him.

Canales’ credibility was hurt though by his changing story and when in a separate case, he pleaded guilty to taking a bribe to allow drugs through a checkpoint.

Attorney Bill Risner represents Castro, the border crosser who was shot.

“The judge found that my client was not attempting to assault the agent with the rock when he shot Mr. Castro,” Risner said. “That means the government should be responsible and that is what the judge found.”

Risner said Castro lives in Nogales, Sonora.

The money will pay for Castro’s spinal surgery, physical therapy, lifetime pain medications, psychiatric treatment and lost earnings.