These are the final moments of a sick Guatemalan boy’s life that ended after lying on the floor for hours in agony as border guards seemingly ignored him.
Carlos Gregario Hernandez Vasquez, a 16-year-old migrant, was severely stricken with the flu when immigration officials put him in a holding cell with another sick boy on May 19 in Weslaco, Texas.
The next morning Carlos was found dead. Customs and Border Protection’s then-acting commissioner, John Sanders, said Carlos was found ‘unresponsive’ by an agent checking on him – but new video obtained by ProPublica shows Carlos suffering for hours as border guards did nothing to help.
In a press release, Sanders said the Border Patrol was ‘committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody.’
However, the footage appears to show that the Border Patrol failed to provide any medical attention Carlos until it is too late.
Carlos was reportedly in Border Patrol custody for six days before he died. He was apprehended by immigration officials after crossing into the US border, according to US Customs and Border Patrol.
He was initially taken to a processing center in McAllen, where a nurse practitioner diagnosed him with the flu and recorded his fever at 103 degrees.
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The nurse said the boy should be checked again in two hours and taken to an emergency room if his condition worsened. Instead, Carlos was then quarantined at the Weslaco station.
Video from the cell shows Carlos writhing on a concrete bench for nearly a half hour before falling off onto the floor. He then staggered to the toilet, collapsed and remained motionless for the next four an a half hours.
According to the Border Patrol’s ‘subject activity log,’ an agent checked on Carlos three times during the hours he was unconscious, but no agents are seen entering the cell in the video.
The footage shows that Carlos’ cellmate found him unresponsive, not the border agents who were tasked with watching him.
After the cellmate finds Carlos lying in a pool of blood, he alerts the guards who enter and discover Carlos had died.
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The CBP spokesman denied to comment on the video, saying: ‘While we cannot discuss specific information or details of this investigation, we can tell you that the Department of Homeland Security and this agency are looking into all aspects of this case to ensure all procedures were followed.’
Carlos is the sixth migrant child to die while being detained in the US in less than a year. At least two others have died of the flu.