Photo: Scott Eisen/AFP/Getty Images
The Government of Mexico requested an “expedited, impartial and exhaustive” investigation into the death of an undocumented Mexican detained by the United States Border Patrol near a California port of entry last week.
Joel Reyes Muñoz, 38, died on the afternoon of January 12 shortly after being detained by Border Patrol agents who intercepted him. near the border crossing at Otay Mesa, California.
The Mexican Consulate in San Diego today sent a request to the authorities for an “expedited, impartial and exhaustive” investigation into the incident.
Carlos González Gutiérrez, the Mexican consul general in San Diego, said that according to preliminary information, Reyes Muñoz was detained around 2:30 p.m. (local time) after passing the second fence in an industrial area near the Port of Entry. from Otay Mesa, which borders Tijuana (Mexico).
The migrant was immediately taken to a Border Patrol facility to be deported, but around 3:20 p.m. he collapsed and died.
“We don’t know what happened in that short period of time while he was detained and died, and we are asking the San Diego police, who are in charge of the investigation, to investigate,” the diplomat said.
Reyes Muñoz’s family said they were not aware that the migrant suffered from any illness or health condition that could cause the sudden death.
The migrant was a construction worker originally from Aguascalientes who came looking for work in the United States to help her two teenage children.
González Gutiérrez explained that communication has been established with a consulting lawyer so that the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs determines the measures in the case.
This incident is being investigated by the San Diego Police Department and reviewed by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Professional Responsibility.
In accordance with established procedures, the incident will be further reviewed by the United States Attorney’s Office.
Deaths of migrants trying to cross the border in the San Diego, California sector have increased in recent months. The San Diego Sector Border Patrol reported 32 deaths in fiscal year 2021, compared to 13 in the previous fiscal year, an increase of 146%.
During fiscal year 2021, at least 248 Mexicans were injured while trying to enter the United States through the Tijuana, Baja California-San Diego, California border, diplomatic authorities detailed.
The Mexican Consulate General in San Diego is offering assistance to the man’s relatives in shipping the body to Mexico.
“The protection of Mexicans in San Diego is the highest priority of this consular representation and of the Mexican Government,” González Gutiérrez concluded. Gonzalez Gutierrez.
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