An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy dies in US custody on Christmas


U.S. Customs and Border Protection have confirmed that an 8-year-old Guatemalan child died Tuesday while in their custody.

The boy showed "signs of potential illness" Monday and was taken with his father to a hospital in Alamogordo, N.M., the agency said. Agents screened the family when they were caught, and the father said there was no medical issue, but hours later she became sick then stopped breathing, had to be revived twice by agents, and was flown to a hospital where she died after liver failure, heart attack and respiratory failure.

According to Guatemala's foreign ministry, the father and son entered the El Paso, Texas, on December 18, then were taken to the Border Patrol's Alamogordo station Sunday.

The father and son were not identified, and the agency statement said it will release more details "as available and appropriate".

The hospital - the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center - declined to comment, citing privacy regulations.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced in a press release on Christmas Day that another migrant child has died in their custody.

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CBP said on Tuesday that the Guatemalan boy's death is being reviewed by the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility, and that the Inspector General has been notified of the death.

Jakelin Caal, a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala, lost her life as well earlier this month.

The news triggered outrage on social media, days after the body of a Guatemalan migrant girl who died in similar circumstances was returned home.

Democratic members of Congress and immigration advocates sharply criticized CBP's handling of the death and questioned whether border agents could have prevented it.

"This is inexcusable", she said in a statement Tuesday.

An eight-year-old migrant boy has died in United States government custody.