The Committee on Chicano Rights said Wednesday it has petitioned the Organization of American States' Commission on Human Rights to investigate what Chicano groups claim have been arrests and beatings of children by U.S. Border Patrol agents.
At a press conference in front of the downtown Federal Courthouse, Herman Baca, chairman of the committee, declared, "the Reagan Administration has unleashed the Border Patrol against children of Mexican ancestry in order to terrorize the Mexican population in the United States."
Baca said that he asked the Human Rights Commission to specifically look into instances where border agents have held children in detention centers and deported children as young as 5 years old to Mexico without their parents.
He is also asking the commission to investigate the shooting of Humberto Carrillo-Estrada, 13, by Border Patrol Agent Edward D. (Ned) Cole, 34. Cole was cleared by the San Diego County district attorney of any wrongdoing.
Gene Smithburg, a Border Patrol spokesman, said that he was not aware of any instance where young children were deported.
"Any allegation of misconduct by an agent that is brought to our attention is fully investigated," he said.