Man dies in front of 11-year-old daughter at US border detention camp

Father thought to be sixth adult to die at migrant detention centre this year

Corazon Miller@c0ra_z0n
Friday 02 August 2019 10:26
The Old Ferrocarril Station in the municipality of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico frequently used by migrants trying to get to cross the US border
The Old Ferrocarril Station in the municipality of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico frequently used by migrants trying to get to cross the US border

A 32-year-old Salvadoran man who was travelling with his 11-year-old daughter has died at a border detention centre in New Mexico.

The man, who was at a station in Lordsburg, fell into ‘medical distress’ on Thursday morning and could not be revived, border officials said.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials confirmed a man had died at the centre, but did not name him.

The agency’s oversight office will review his death, which came the morning after he was taken into custody late on Wednesday evening.

While the US authorities have not revealed his identity, CBS reported that a Salvadoran consulate official identified the man as Marvin Antonio Gonzalez.

He had spent a week travelling from El Salvador with his 11-year-old daughter when he was detained at 9pm on Wednesday and fell into ‘medical distress’ later in the morning.

The consulate official said they are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death and have requested medical records from El Salvador.

His daughter was being cared for at a New Mexico shelter.

CBS cited data from the American Immigration Lawyers Association indicating he was the sixth adult to die at a migrant detention centre in 2019.

His death follows that of another man from El Salvador who was attempting to cross the US border on Wednesday evening.

Police in the northern Mexico border state of Coahuila shot a Salvadoran migrant accused of drawing a pistol and opening fire on officers, prosecutors said on Thursday.

A migrant shelter in the Coahuila city of Saltillo said the Salvadoran man had been waiting with other migrants late Wednesday to hop on a freight train to the US border.

The Casa Del Migrante Saltillo shelter said the group of about 10 migrants had stayed at the shelter before heading to the train tracks, and suggested they were victims of an overzealous raid by state and federal forces.

The shelter said in a statement the migrants hid a 2-year-old girl who was separated from her mother during the raid because "they assumed the agents of the Coahuila prosecutors' office were shooting to kill." It also said the victim was travelling with his 8-year-old daughter who saw him shot.

But the prosecutor's office gave a different story.

"At the train tracks, four men verbally attacked police, and one of them took out a firearm and fired shots, while other people fled on foot," the office said in a statement. "The officers returned fire and thus the attacker fell dead."

The federal government issued a statement on Thursday saying neither federal police nor immigration agents were involved in the Wednesday raid.

The Coahuila state government said in a separate statement that the man's death was under investigation. It said the girl was safe and in the custody of child welfare officials.

Additional reporting by AP

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