Pedestrian line leading to the U.S.
On March 1 Mauricio Rodriguez, a Mexican-American life coach, was coming back from a special event in Playas de Tijuana at 1 am. Before crossing the border to the U.S., he bought a burrito and a soda; suddenly three Tijuana policemen appeared from the shadows under the last pedestrian bridge.
“They showed up from nowhere and asked me to stop despite having no reason to,” he explained. “They told me that they would search me and asked me to come under the bridge; at that point I said to them that if they wanted to search me do so in the spot I was. Then one of them showed me his nightstick and said, 'You will do as we said.' ”
“They told me that they would search me and asked me to come under the bridge."
Mauricio said the officers asked him if he was carrying a gun and if that was the reason he didn’t wanted to be searched. He said that was impossible because he was trying to cross into the U.S. Then he continued on his way to the border crossing.
“I thought that they wanted to rob me. I felt a threat to my physical integrity because I was not a danger for them and I was not doing anything illegal, I just had a burrito and a soda in my hands,” he stated.
After that, they blocked his way and tried to pushed him under the pedestrian bridge. Mauricio started to cry for help to people around, but nobody intervened. Then, he remembered that where he had bought food there were two other officers, so he approached them, but they refused to help him because they were not in their area and had just came to eat.
“I threw myself against the Border Patrol officers in order to land in U.S. territory."
The three first officers followed him and said: “Are you dumb? They are on our side.” After that Mauricio was pushed against the patrol car and started to be searched. “At that point they were pretty upset and got violent due to my request to give me their names. Then they began to say that I would be taken to the police station, and I said that I wanted to go and report them to the judge.”
Right away after that, dreadful stories regarding police from his friends came into his mind. “I started to think that they will put me in the patrol car to get beaten so I wouldn’t have any desire to report them, so my sense of surviving turned on and while I was getting searched against the patrol I sneaked out and ran forwards the border.”
The police didn’t chase him. People working at businesses there screamed to him while themselves slipping away and saying, “'run – you would not imagine what they would do to you.' "
Yards before getting to the Port of Entry he stopped running, but suddenly the police in their patrol car drove on the Ready Line track to catch him right before crossing. His reaction was to run again but when the Border Patrol officer realized he was chased by these cops, they blocked him and yelled at him to stop.
“I threw myself against the Border Patrol officers in order to land in U.S. territory to be out of Tijuana’s police jurisdiction,” he explained. Mauricio got handcuffed by three border patrolmen, who let the Mexican police take a picture of Mauricio’s California ID. Officers escorted him to San Ysidro and told him that day two other people had suffered something similar.
“Now I’m scared for my life. That was the first reason to report them to the Sindicatura (a Tijuana city department set up for functionality of public services) and feel a bit more protected.
Mauricio published his case on several Facebook groups, and other people told him they had similar experiences, but no one actually reported one. And according to him that was his very reason to make it public.
Mauricio's dad called him the next day, and he asked him why he reported what happened, because the police won’t get punished. Mauricio says he believes that that’s the only way to change things in Mexico. Since people don’t report these issues, they will continue to live in fear.
“I think that’s my duty as a life coach. I need to be consistent with that and not just complain but try to change our situation by doing things right,” he added.