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Migrant child becomes 2nd to die in US custody in December

December 26, 2018 09:53 IST

IMAGE: A view inside US Customs and Border Protection detention facility, in Rio Grande City, Texas. Photograph is used for representational purposes/Reuters

An eight-year-old Guatemalan migrant boy died shortly after midnight on Tuesday after being detained by United States border agents, the US Customs and Border Protection said, making him the second migrant child this month to die in U.S. detention.

The death came when the government is partially shutdown over the dispute of funding for the border wall.

US Customs and Border Protection said the boy -- identified by the Guatemalan consul in Phoenix as Felipe Gómez Alonzo -- along with his father were in CBP custody when a Border Patrol agent noticed the child showing signs of illness.


He was taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a common cold and fever, and eventually released by hospital staff. However, later, the boy started vomiting and died shortly in the hospital. The reason behind his death is still to be ascertained.

According to Guatemala’s foreign 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.

The boy’s death followed the death in early December of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal, also from Guatemala. She died after being detained along with her father by US border agents in a remote part of New Mexico.