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Cop Watch: Harlingen Cop Fatally Shoots Man in the Back, Juan Angel Guerra On the Case

Down Harlingen way, it was cold back in January so Diego Rivas-Soto started a fire under the Highway 77 overpass to keep warm. Rivas-Soto was a Mexican national, with family living in Durango. He was here, looking for work.

Drawn by the fire, the police showed up. Rivas-Soto was obviously frightened, and according to the police version of events, pulled a knife. So they shot him.

Rivas-Soto was shot in the back.

Now, the autopsy reports are in — and more of the story has come to light. Rivas-Soto was fatally shot by a police shotgun blast.

And he was shot in the back. This has been confirmed by the Medical Examiner.

Was he a terrorist or a drug trafficker? Nope. He was just a guy without enough cash to pay for a room on a cold night. In fact, Rivas-Soto was a husband and father, only 41 years old when he died. He had left his wife and five children in their home of San Juan del Rio, a hamlet outside of Durango, Mexico, to get some kind of work in Texas.

Juan Guerra Representing the Family

Juan Angel Guerra is representing the family, and he’s working hard on the case. He’s using his past experience as a 3-term district attorney to question the actions of the Harlingen police department and current district attorney’s office, and he’s already released a copy of the autopsy reports to the news media.

According to Guerra, Riva-Soto was shot in the back twice, and he was shot after he was already down on the ground. Guerra appears to be very suspicious – even incredulous – of the official police version of events, and he’s taking his concerns to the media.

You’ll remember Mr. Guerra.

Last fall, we posted about Mr. Guerra’s charging then Vice-President Dick Cheney, and others, with responsibility for abuses in privately-run Texas prisons, and about the suspicious nature of his last campaign for a fourth term as district attorney of Willacy County where some were of the opinion that Guerra had been the victim of some manipulative tactics to get him out of office.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about the untimely death of Diego Rivas-Soto. And Juan Guerra.



The Monitor

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