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26 December 2018, 02:49 | Tara Lloyd
8-year-old boy from Guatemala dies in government custody
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the boy died shortly after midnight Tuesday.
After the boy was taken into CBD custody, a U.S. Border Patrol agent noticed that he showed "signs of potential illness", the release said.
There, he was diagnosed with a cold and a fever, was given prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen and released that afternoon.
The boy returned to the hospital later in the day and reportedly died hours later after suffering from nausea and vomiting. It added that the agency will be conducting a review of the incident and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the inspector general has been notified. Jakelin Caal Maquin and her father, Nery Caal, were apprehended by Border Patrol agents in the New Mexico desert on December 6, as part of a larger group of 163 illegal aliens.
Her body was repatriated on Sunday and after a long journey reached San Antonio Secortez, the remote village where her family - members of the indigenous Q'eqchi' Maya people - live without electricity and other basic services.
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The unnamed boy is the second youngster to die in detention this month.
It remained unclear how many children are now in the custody of the CBP, though the agency processes thousands of children and their parents each month.
Maquin and her father were taken to the Antelope Wells port of entry after turning themselves in to CBP officers in early December.
Guatemala's foreign ministry in a statement said that its consul in Phoenix, Arizona, was monitoring the situation and had sought to interview the boy's father "to know their version of the facts".
The news of the boy's death triggered political outrage.
The eight-year-old died early Tuesday, shortly after being released from the hospital.
He is locked in a battle with Congress over funding for his planned border wall, which he claims will stem migration from Latin American countries plagued by gang violence and poverty. The US authorities said that the girl did not consume any food or water for several days.
Her death fueled criticism of President Donald Trump's immigration policies from Democrats and migrant advocates. According to human rights activists, the girl died from septic shock, fever and dehydration.
"Heartbroken and sickened by this news", Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico wrote on Twitter. She was flown by helicopter to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, where she died. The White House did not immediately comment on the boy's death Tuesday.
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