Crossing point at Mexico-Guatemala border

Mexican police killed a man near Mexico City in a raid on illegal immigrants from Central America, sparking the anger of local residents, who overturned and smashed two immigration service trucks.

The man fatally shot in the town Tultitlan on the outskirts of Mexico City apparently was mistaken for a Central American, the Associated Press reported.

Local residents said the victim, Robert Lugo, was a construction worker whose dark skin and work clothes likely made him appear to be an illegal immigrant. Witnesses said Lugo was shot at close range and was not running from police or trying to confront them.

Tultitlan is a frequent stopping point for Central Americans who enter Mexico illegally and try to make their way north to the United States by train.

Mexican police, who regularly conduct raids in the town, often abuse the illegals before releasing them without charges, local residents told the Associated Press.

“If you’re carrying any money, they take it from you; federal, local police, all of them,” said Carlos Lopez, 28, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala City.

Jose Ramos, 18, of El Salvador, agreed, saying, “If you’re on a bus, they pull you off and search your pockets and if you have any money, they keep it and say ‘Get out of here.'”

As WorldNetDaily columnist Larry Elder pointed out, a United Nations human rights commissioner recently said Mexico “is one of the countries where illegal immigrants are highly vulnerable to human rights violations and become victims of degrading sexual exploitation and slavery-like practices, and are denied access to education and health care.”

When Mexican authorities catch illegal aliens, they typically place them overnight in a detention center, then bus or fly them back to their country of origin.

Elder said that although Mexico militarized its border and deported 203,128 illegal immigrants in 2004, many illegals get through by bribing corrupt military and police.

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