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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 1:00 am

Teen dies following 6 days in US custody

Associated Press

HOUSTON – A 16-year-old boy from Guatemala who died in U.S. custody Monday had been held for six days – twice as long as federal law generally permits – then transferred to another holding facility after he was diagnosed with the flu.

The teenager, identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, was the fifth minor from Guatemala to die after being apprehended by U.S. border agents since December.

Advocates demanded that President Donald Trump's administration act to safeguard the lives of children in detention as border crossings surge and the U.S. Border Patrol detains thousands of families at a time in overcrowded facilities, tents, and outdoor spaces.

“We should all be outraged and demand that those responsible for his well-being be held accountable,” said Efrén Olivares, a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project.