The household of a 7-year-old Guatemalan lady who died in U.S. Border Patrol custody is disputing an account from U.S. officers who mentioned she had not been given meals or water for days.
In a press release launched by legal professionals, the dad and mom of Jakelin Caal mentioned the lady had been given meals and water and gave the impression to be in good well being as she travelled via Mexico along with her father, 29-year-old Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz.
Border Patrol officers didn’t instantly reply to the household’s feedback.
The household’s assertion was launched Saturday throughout a information convention in El Paso, Texas, at an immigrant shelter the place Jakelin’s father is staying. Her household didn’t attend and has requested for privateness.
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Jakelin and her father had been searching for asylum within the U.S. and had been amongst a big group of migrants arrested Dec. 6 close to a distant border crossing in New Mexico. Hours later they had been positioned on a bus to the closest Border Patrol station, however Jakelin started vomiting and ultimately stopped respiration. She later died at a Texas hospital.
Border Patrol officers on Friday mentioned brokers did every thing they may to save lots of the lady however that she had not had meals or water for days. They added that an preliminary screening confirmed no proof of well being issues, and that her father had signed a type indicating she was in good well being.
However the household took concern with that type, which was in English, a language her father doesn’t communicate or learn. He communicated with border brokers in Spanish however he primarily speaks the Mayan Q’eqchi’ language.
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“It’s unacceptable for any authorities company to have individuals in custody signal paperwork in a language that they clearly don’t perceive,” the assertion mentioned.
Jakelin’s household is urging authorities to conduct an “goal and thorough” investigation into the demise and to find out whether or not officers met requirements for the arrest and custody of youngsters.
A explanation for demise has not but been launched. A personal prayer service was held in Texas on Friday so her father might see Jakelin’s physique earlier than it’s taken to Guatemala, mentioned Ruben Garcia, director of the Annunciation Home shelter the place her father is staying.
“All of us had been moved by the depth of his religion and his belief that God’s hand is in all of this,” Garcia mentioned.
Members of the family in Guatemala mentioned Caal determined emigrate together with his favorite baby to earn cash he might ship again house. Jakelin’s mom and three siblings remained in San Antonio Secortez, a village of about 420 inhabitants.