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A 16-year-old boy from Guatemala died Monday at the Weslaco Station in the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector. He is the fifth migrant child to die after being detained at the border, all of whom were from Guatemala.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the boy was processed for “illegal entry” on May 13 near Hidalgo, Texas, before being transferred to the Weslaco Border Patrol Station Sunday. He was found unresponsive in the morning after a welfare check. The cause of death is unknown and both the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General and the Guatemalan government have been notified.
“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,” Acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders said in a statement. “CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody.”
Monday’s death is the second this week alone. On May 15, a 2½-year-old Guatemalan boy died in El Paso, Texas, after several nights in the hospital. It is believed he contracted some form of pneumonia. CBP apprehended the boy and his mother in early April near the Paso del Norte International Bridge.
Earlier this month, another Guatemalan teen died federal government custody on Tuesday after spending several days in intensive care at a hospital in Texas. His cause of death has also yet to be determined, but according to BuzzFeed News, which first reported the boy’s death, the boy frequently suffered from headaches and wanted treatment. The Guatemalan consulate told the outlet that the 16-year-old was admitted to the hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, with a severe infection in his frontal lobe and, after a surgery to stabilize the pressure in his head, passed away after seven days of being in intensive care.
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