Published: Wed, December 26, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy dies in USA custody on Christmas

An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy dies in USA custody on Christmas

An eight-year-old boy from Guatemala died in government custody early Tuesday, said USA immigration authorities, marking the second death of a migrant child in detention this month.

The Guatemalan government has been notified of the death, "and is now engaging the father and any family members in Guatemala", wrote the CBP.

The child was treated with amoxicillin and ibuprofen and then released Monday afternoon back to the Border Patrol.

The boy was returned to the hospital on Monday evening with nausea and vomiting and died there just hours later, CBP said.

"While the CBP notified Congress within 24 hours as mandated by law, we must ensure that we treat migrants and asylum-seekers with human dignity and provide the necessary medical care to anyone in the custody of the United States government", he said in the statement. The exact cause of death is not yet clear, though CBP said more details would be released in the near-future. Earlier in December, seven-year-old Jakelin Caal, also from Guatemala, died after being detained along with her father by USA border agents.

Caal's funeral was being held on Christmas Day in her family's village in Guatemala. CBP officers and the Border Patrol remain on the job despite the shutdown.

Light snow is looking more likely for Christmas morning
Even if storms don't fire off, you can still bet on widespread rain moving in on Thursday and lasting into Friday morning. Of course with that kind of temperature profile any snow that was left in the corners of your yard would be gone.

According to the ministry, the boy and his father entered the United States via El Paso, Texas, on December 18 and were transferred to a border patrol station in Alamogordo on December 23. Alamogordo is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) from El Paso.

Guatemala's Foreign Ministry said its consul in Phoenix was seeking to interview the boy's father, to whom it pledged to give all necessary consular assistance and protection. They were planning to go to Johnson City, Tennessee.

"Despite our trained EMT agents' best efforts fighting for Jakelin's life, and the work of the Hidalgo County and Providence Children's Hospital medical teams treating her, we were unable to rescue her", CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said in a statement. She died in the hospital on December 8.

Parents and children together are nearly always released quickly due to limited space in ICE's family detention facilities. The child and his father were transported to Gerald Regional Medical Center.

The ministry said CBP alerted Guatemalan officials of the death on Tuesday.

The Guatemalan foreign ministry called for an investigation "in accordance with due process".

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