INEWSOURCE – Few details are publicly available about how a Mexican citizen died in federal custody in a parking lot just west of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry more than six months ago.
Hours after Border Patrol detained Joel Reyes Muñoz, 38, on Jan. 12, he “became ill and eventually unresponsive,” according to a press release Customs and Border Protection issued two days later. Authorities suspected Reyes Muñaz crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
Now new details have emerged in records obtained by inewsource that raise questions about whether Reyes Muñoz’s death could have been prevented.
[Muñoz’s death could have been prevented if he had not attempted to enter the United States illegally and if he had not attempted to climb a 30-ft high fence that was expressly built to keep people out. – HEADLINE HEALTH]
Reyes Muñoz died from blunt force injuries after “apparently” falling from the U.S.-Mexico border wall, according to his recently updated death certificate. That detail places Reyes Muñoz among a growing list of migrants fatally wounded after falling from the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
More than six months have passed since Muñoz died in a Customs and Border Protection parking lot. Despite new information on his death, his family still has questions how he died.
[“Apparently,” falling from a 30-foot high wall and suffering blunt force injuries is not a sufficient explanation. – HH]
But the still thin details surrounding his death also raise questions for Reyes Muñoz’s family and immigration reform advocates about whether authorities took appropriate steps to prevent his death.
Nearly two hours passed between the time a Border Patrol agent spotted a group of migrants crossing into the U.S. leading to Reyes Muñoz’s detention and when he died.
In the more than six months since his death, neither Border Patrol nor its overseeing agency, Customs and Border Protection, have released information on what led up to Reyes Muñoz’s death. Spokespeople for those agencies did not return multiple requests for comment for this story.
Vicki Gaubeca, director for the Southern Border Communities Coalition, said his death raises doubts about whether Border Patrol knew he fell from the wall and what, if any, medical evaluation he was given.
“I think the biggest question for us is why wasn’t there an immediate medical assessment of Mr. Reyes Muñoz.”
Reyes Muñoz left his home in Aguascalientes, a state in central Mexico, for the U.S. in hopes of earning enough money to send his two sons to college, his wife, Leticia Duran Martinez, told inewsource.
His death left the family in disbelief and with many questions about what happened to Reyes Muñoz, who they said was otherwise healthy.
“If it really happened like that, that he fell from the wall, why don’t they give him medical attention?” Duran Martinez said.
[Because as every illegal alien knows, medical care in America is free! This man’s death was tragic and unnecessary, and the direct result of US city, state, and federal agencies that give free goods and services to people who are in this country illegally. – HH]