GENEVA - The United States has used excessive force against immigrants along the Mexican border and should cooperate in investigating border killings, including those of many young people, the top United Nations human rights official said on Thursday.

"There have been very many young people, teenagers, who have been killed at the border," Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told a news conference. "The reports reaching me are that there has been excessive use of force by the US border patrols while they are enforcing the immigration laws," she added.

The family of a Mexican teen shot dead when the US Border Patrol opened fire on a group of rock throwers in Mexico last week is planning to bring a lawsuit alleging excessive use of force, Mexican authorities said on Monday.

The Border Patrol said an agent in Nogales, Arizona, opened fire across the border into Mexico on Oct 10. Mexican authorities said 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was shot dead in the incident.

The latest shooting brought sharp criticism from Mexico's foreign ministry, which said that the initial report on Elena Rodriguez "creates serious, new doubts about the use of lethal force by US Border Patrol agents, something that both the Mexican government and society strongly deplore and condemn."

Pillay said that she agreed with remarks by Mexico's foreign ministry that the disproportionate use of lethal force during immigration controls is "unacceptable under any circumstances".

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