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CBP Statement on Death in Custody: 16-year-old Guatemalan Passes Away in RGV

Release Date
Mon, 05/20/2019

WASHINGTON - A 16-year-old Guatemalan national passed away this morning at the Weslaco Station in the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector. According to initial reports, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended and processed the juvenile for illegal entry May 13 near Hidalgo, Texas. He was transferred from the Rio Grande Valley Sector’s Central Processing Center to the Weslaco Border Patrol Station Sunday and due for placement with Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement. He was found un-responsive this morning during a welfare check.

The following statement is from Acting Commissioner John Sanders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

“The men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are saddened by the tragic loss of this young man and our condolences are with his family. CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody.”

The cause of death is not known at this time. Consistent with CBP policy, CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility has initiated a review. The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General has been notified. The Guatemalan government has been notified.

CBP has also notified Members of Congress, consistent with CBP’s Interim Procedures on Notification of a Death in Custody. At this time, CBP is not releasing the identity of the individual. CBP will release more details as available and appropriate, and will ensure an independent and thorough review of the circumstances.

Last Modified: Feb 03, 2021