Monday, June 7, 2010

Potential Scandal

People in Mexico are rightly up in arms about the murder of Anastacio Hernández, but Milenio, building on a 2008 investigation from the Washington Post, says there are other examples to which we should be playing closer attention:
At least 21 Mexican migrants have died in the last six years in the US governments' Immigration Detention Centers, some of them in circumstances that are hard to explain such as suicides, fatal accidents in federal facilities, and diverse traumas, despite being in custody.

Documents obtained by Milenio through the Federal Transparency Law show that the US government kept some of the deaths secret and neglected to contact the Mexican consular service in several cases, contravening different international agreements that oblige it to do so, such as the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

When it was informed about the deaths, the Mexican government expressed doubts about some of them and demanded --and sometimes paid for-- independent autopsies to determine the true causes of deaths reported by the Department of Homeland Security.
The article goes on to offer cases like a healthy 32-year-old who evidently suffered a heart attack and another inmate who was somehow electrocuted. Milenio also paints the response from the consulate as wholly insufficient, at times even non-existent.

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