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Border dispute

U.S. Border Patrol agents have battled rock-throwing attackers by launching pepper spray and tear gas into Mexican border neighborhoods, according to witnesses, Mexican authorities and human rights groups. Here, Alfredo Aceves, 24, holds a tear gas canister that he says landed in his carpenter shop two weeks ago. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Jose Arias Martinez, 73, of Tijuana shows the spot where a tear gas grenade hit his house, which faces the U.S.-Mexico border fence. Arias said the stinging effects of the gas sent his family fleeing. Border Patrol officials have defended their tactics, saying assailants pelt agents almost nightly with rocks to try to divert attention while they smuggle people into California. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Just outside her front door, Tijuana resident Carmen Lopez stares into the glare of a security light looming above the U.S.-Mexico border fence. Lopez, a 63-year-old grandmother, is among residents who sympathize with U.S. Border Patrol agents. “How can they be at fault? They have a right to defend themselves,” she said. Still, after Lopez’s house was hit by tear gas canisters, a neighbor screamed to a U.S. agent who climbed the fence, “This isn’t Iraq!” (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Residents of Colonia Libertad, a Tijuana neighborhood along the U.S.-Mexico border, have complained about tear gas attacks by the U.S. Border Patrol, reporting injuries to adults and children and damage to their homes. U.S. agents say they have had to counter human traffickers’ increasingly aggressive tactics in the notorious smuggling neighborhood. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)