struggle for the border

Friendly fire blamed for Border Patrol death

Friendly fire caused the death of US Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie and the wounding of a fellow agent near the Arizona-Mexico border this week. Three agents were patrolling a remote sector about five miles north of the border where sensors indicated the presence of smugglers, when two agents mistakenly opened fire on the third, authorities now say. Ivie himself is now said to have fired first. The clarification came after nearly a week of speculation that Mexican smugglers shot the agents. Yet, in a little-noticed contradiction to what is now the official story, Mexican police arrested two suspects within days of the shootings—raising the possibility that the arrests were a politically motivated response to US pressure. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was quick to politicize the death of the agent, claiming possible links to the "Fast and Furious" weapons scandal. Since Ivie was apparently killed by another US agent—using a service weapon, according to ballistic reports—Grassley may have to rescind his statement. (Mexico Solidarity Network, Oct. 8; AP, Oct. 7)

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