9 On Your Side Border Watch

Border Patrol orders family to take down memorial

CREATED Jul. 17, 2011

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  • Family members hold one last vigil before Border Patrol orders them to take down a loved one's memorial. Video by kgun9.com

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  • Friends and family of Carlos LaMadrid held a vigil Sunday night at the spot where his memorial stands

  • LaMadrid died in March after being fatally shot by the Border Patrol agents he was trying to outrun

  • U.S. Border Patrol has ordered that this memorial to LaMadrid be taken down

  • LaMadrid's sister, Martha, says visiting the memorial helps her feel close to her brother

Reporter:  Jessica Chapin
Web Producer: Marissa Pasquet, Layla Tang

DOUGLAS, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Family members and friends are outraged at Border Patrol once more, after they were asked to remove a memorial of 19-year-old Carlos LaMadrid. 

Guadalupe Guerrero, mother of the 19-year-old, received the letter on July 14th, nearly four months after Carlos, a U.S. citizen, was shot in the back by a Border Patrol Agent.

Authorities said Carlos LaMadrid fled in a Chevrolet Avalanche containing 48 pounds of bundled marijuana and reportedly ran toward the U.S.-Mexico border fence.

Flowers, pictures, candles, and a banner with a message to Border Patrol agents now lie on the fence where LaMadrid was shot.  Guerrero said it's a place that's become sacred for their family.

"They call me the crazy mom," she said.  "I come here every day, in the morning, in the evening.  Two or three times a day.  I come here and I cry, I laugh and I ask 'why didn't you call me?  Why didn't you call me and ask for help? I would have been here so they could kill us both.'"

LaMadrid's 17-year-old sister, Martha, told 9 On Your Side she visits the memorial before her soccer games in an effort to feel closer to her brother, who was one of her biggest fans.

"This is the last place he took his last breaths," she said. "I feel like I can talk to him here and feel freely as if he were still here with me."

Martha said she thinks anyone should be allowed to post anything on the fence.  The banner on the memorial questions agents who shot LaMadrid, accusing them of passing judgment unfairly.

"It's a free country supposedly you have the freedom of speech to do what you want.  I think it's not fair that we should take down things because it shows how we feel towards what happened," Martha said.

Family members wrote to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' office to ask for an exception for their memorial.  Border Patrol let the family know if they don't remove it by Tuesday, they'll do it themselves.

This isn't the first memorial removed from the fence.  Border agents took down hundreds of American flags posted on the fence in Cochise County earlier this year.

9 On Your Side was unable to get a response from Border Patrol about their policies on putting items on the fence.