‘He was very happy to leave’: Family of Guatemalan boy struggling to understand how he died – National


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GUATEMALA CITY — The daddy of an Eight-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in U.S. custody took his son to the border after listening to rumors that folks and their youngsters could be allowed emigrate to america and escape the poverty of their homeland, the boy’s stepsister instructed The Related Press.

Felipe Gomez Alonzo died Monday at a New Mexico hospital after struggling coughing, vomiting and fever, authorities stated. It was the second such dying this month. One other Guatemalan youngster, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal, died in U.S. custody on Dec. Eight. Each deaths are below investigation.

READ MORE: Eight-year-old boy is the 2nd Guatemalan youngster to die in U.S. custody this month

“We heard rumors that they might move (into america). They stated they might move with the youngsters,” stated Catarina Gomez Lucas, the boy’s 21-year-old stepsister, explaining why Felipe and his father, Agustin Gomez, made the damaging journey.

This Dec, 12, 2018 photograph offered by Catarina Gomez on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, reveals her half-brother Felipe Gomez Alonzo, Eight, close to her house in Yalambojoch, Guatemala.

Catarina Gomez through AP

Gomez Lucas wouldn’t say who unfold the rumors or who transported the daddy and son to the border from Yalambojoch in Huehuetenango province, a poor group of returnees from Mexico who had fled Guatemala within the bloodiest years of that nation’s 1960-1996 civil conflict. The stepsister spoke to the AP on Wednesday by phone from Yalambojoch.

After listening to the rumors, Agustin Gomez thought he ought to make the most of “the chance” to satisfy his son’s goals. He grabbed a couple of modifications of clothes, purchased the boy new footwear and left with what cash he had, Gomez Lucas stated.

WATCH: Eight-year-old boy is the 2nd Guatemalan youngster to die in U.S. custody this month

Felipe “at all times needed a bicycle,” and within the U.S. he wouldn’t need to endure the poverty and lack of alternative in Guatemala, she stated.

Felipe’s mom, 31-year-old Catarina Alonzo Perez, stated she spoke along with her son the day earlier than they arrived on the U.S. border.

“He wasn’t sick on the best way; he wasn’t sick right here,” she stated via her stepdaughter within the Mayan language generally known as Chuj.

Each Felipe and Jakelin got here from rural communities in Guatemala with excessive poverty. Each have been taken to the border by their dad and mom and detained by the U.S. Border Patrol earlier than they fell in poor health.

READ MORE: Migrant woman’s dying highlights language limitations at U.S. border

It seems Felipe bought sick after authorities moved him from El Paso to Alamogordo, New Mexico, due to overcrowding.

“He was very comfortable to go away” on the voyage, stated Gomez Lucas, so the household doesn’t perceive what occurred to his well being.

She stated the household stopped listening to from Felipe’s father on Dec. 18, when he and the boy have been detained. On Dec. 25, he known as to say the boy had died in a hospital.

“He instructed us that (Felipe) was effective all day, that he was enjoying with different youngsters. However then he stated he felt dangerous and his abdomen ached,” the stepsister stated.

Felipe instructed his father he didn’t know what was fallacious with him and that it felt like one thing was caught in his throat, Gomez Lucas stated.

The daddy stated Felipe requested him to not cry as a result of he “was not going to get higher,” based on the boy’s stepsister.

WATCH: Funeral for 7-year-old Guatemalan woman who died in U.S. custody an excessive amount of for grieving mom

Felipe was taken to a hospital, and the daddy stated he gave him to docs, who quickly knowledgeable him his son had died.

Agustin Gomez was drowning in debt, Gomez Lucas stated. He bought a chunk of land to outlive, however the cash was not sufficient, so he determined to take out a mortgage and journey to america.

Felipe is survived by 5 siblings, two from his father’s first marriage and three from his stepmother and father.

The boy lived along with his father’s household in a small wood home with earthen flooring. It lacked entry to primary companies. Gomez Lucas stated Felipe’s father earned about $6 a day via momentary farm jobs or harvesting espresso, which was not sufficient to assist the household.

READ MORE: Physique of woman, 7, who died at U.S. border returned to Guatemala

As with Jakelin’s household, Felipe’s family members now should cope with the dying of a kid, a debt and their continued fear concerning the destiny of Agustin Gomez.

Oscar Padilla, the Guatemalan consul in Phoenix, confirmed that the daddy continues to be detained by the Border Patrol.

“My father is struggling due to the boy. We have no idea what is going to occur. We’ve got nothing to dwell with. We wouldn’t have cash,” Gomez Lucas stated.

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