The family of a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl who died from dehydration in the guard of the border guards demands replies to protests on the American-Mexican border, because government officials refuse to take responsibility for her death.
Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin died in the hospital of El Paso on 8 December, two days after she was arrested with her father, the 29-year-old Nery Caal, and 163 others who tried to enter the US in the Antelope Wells Port of Entry in New Mexico.
In a statement released by lawyers, Jakelin's family said the girl seemed in good health as she traveled through Mexico, contradicting an account of US government officials who said the girl had not been given food or water for the days prior to her arrest.
Border Patrol officials have not immediately responded to the family's statement, released Saturday at a press conference in El Paso, Texas, in an immigrant shelter where Jakelin's father resides. Her family was not present and asked for privacy.
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Jakelin Caal Maquin died in the hospital of El Paso on 8 December, two days after she was arrested with her father and 163 others who tried to enter the US at the Antelope Wells port of entry into New Mexico. Jakelins' family (now pictured) now mourns her death of 2,000 miles away in the remote Mayan Q & # 39; eqchi community of Raxruhá, Guatemala
Jakelins grandfather Domingo Caal told CNN and Español: It really hurts. Honestly, it is difficult to assume & # 39;
Jakelin's mother Claudia Maquin spoke of tears in a Mayan dialect and said: "Every time they ask me what happened to the girl, it hurts me again. & # 39; Pictured: Maquin holds a photo of Jakelin in one hand with one of the three siblings of the girl in the other
Caal told CNN how Jakelin (photo) had jumped up and down when her father told her they were on their way to America, leaving her family, which the seven-year-old will never see again
Jakelin's cousin Carlos Rigoberto Caal Cux, 23 years old, reads a newspaper article about her death on Saturday in Raxruha
Two thousand kilometers away in the remote Maya community Q & # 39; eqchi & # 39; in Raxruhá, Guatemala, the Jakelin family begins to mourn her death.
"It really hurts," the grandfather of the girl, Domingo Caal, told CNN and Español. & Honestly, it's hard to feel. & # 39;
Caal told the network how Jakelin had jumped up and down when her father told his favorite daughter they were going to America, leaving her family, which the seven-year-old will never see again.
He said his son decided to leave Guatemala because he was tired of living in extreme poverty – the family survived the maize and harvested beans at only $ 5 a day.
"He wanted to work, because he said he could build a better life there, & # 39; said Caal.
He also translated for Jakelin's mother Claudia Maquin, who said through tears in a Mayan dialect: "Every time they ask me what happened to the girl, it hurts me again."
The mother said she hopes her husband can stay in the US to work and eventually earn enough money to pay the debt they have paid to send the couple to America.
Claudia Maquin, 27, is sitting on a wooden bed while she talks to journalists on Saturday, left next to her three children, the five-year-old Elvis Radamel Aquiles, nine-year-old Abdel Johnatan Domingo, center and six-month-old Angela Zeker Mariela, right
Jakelin was the second oldest child in the Caal Maquin family. Her brothers and sisters Elvis, Angela and Abdel are seen from left to right
Members of the Caal Maquin family and neighbors are on Saturday outside Claudia Maquin's home in Raxruha, Guatemala
Jakelin's grandmother Elvira Choc, 59, puts her head on her hand in front of her house on Saturday in Ruxruha
The house where Jakelin spent the night with her parents and three brothers and sisters can be seen on the day that neighbors visit on Saturday
Mother with a broken heart, Maquin, walks home with her three children in barefoot
The family's statement on Saturday was: "Jakelin and her father came to the US to look for something that had been looking for thousands of years-an escape from the dangerous situation in their homeland.
& # 39; This was their right under American and international law. But it is a journey that led to a tragedy.
The family is looking for an objective and thorough investigation and asks that researchers assess this incident within nationally recognized standards for the arrest and custody of children.
& # 39; The family is planning to assist in such an investigation into the cause and circumstances of Jakelin's death. & # 39;
Dear ones are not the only ones who seek answers in the death of the girl. Members of congressional and immigration advocates say that Jakelin's death raises serious questions about the way migrants are treated at the border.
Dozens of protesters took to the streets on Saturday in El Paso and demanded justice for Jakelin.
Government officials have said that Jakelin was detained on 9 December at 9.15 am. Between 10 pm and 4.30 am she remained at the port of entry, apparently with access to food, water and toilets, until both she and her father were put on a bus to be taken for processing 95 miles away at the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station.
At 5 o'clock the child started vomiting and her father warned the officers in the bus, but there was nothing they could do but continue, according to government officials, and warn medical personnel to be prepared at the other end of the journey.
Ninety minutes later the father told the child that she no longer breathes at the same time they arrived at the police station.
& # 39; There was not much for them to do. Really, in that part of the border there is no quicker way to take her to the place where she needs medical treatment, "said one official Friday.
According to DHS and CBP officials who spoke with reporters on Friday's condition of anonymity during a conference call, the girl's father also told an agent in Spanish that she had no health problems and was marked on a form used to processing .
The DHS official who repeatedly refused to go on the record said that the girl would have died in the desert alone, "were it not that the" life-saving measures " by agents were taken, despite the fact that they died 36 hours after entering their custody.
Jackeline Caal Maquin died on December 8 a day after being detained at the border with her father. Her death led to humanitarian concerns about the US treatment of illegal migrants in custody. Above is an illustration of her last hours
The child was flown from New York City air port in New Mexico on 7 December at 7.45 am, but she had stopped breathing more than an hour earlier while being transported in a bus from the Antelope. Wells Port of Entry, where agents say they checked, showed no signs of illness and had access to food and water
They say it was about the time they arrived at the police station, but the exact number of minutes between stopping breathing and their arrival is unclear.
She was then taken to a hospital at 7.45 am – more than an hour later – at the hospital in El Paso, Texas, and had a cardiac arrest.
After a new life, a CT scan revealed that Jackeline had a swelling in the brain. She died of liver failure the next day, early in the morning.
They claim that they could not have done anything else to save her and that she had been properly monitored, despite the border agents who did not receive medical training.
& # 39; The first screening revealed no indications of health problems. There is no indication that it was a lack of attention. The questions were asked … there were enough chances for her father to warn agents in that period.
"Questions about her health had already been asked, he knew we were interested in it," said the CBP official.
GOVERNMENT TIME OF THE DEATH OF GIRLS
December 6, 21:15: Jackeline is being held at the Antelope Wells Port of Entry
10:00: She is overseen by border agents who clean her up and say that she has no signs of ill health
December 7, 4.30 am: Jackeline is put in a bus with her father to be taken to the Lordsburg Patrol Station
05:00: The child begins to vomit in the bus
Agents call to Lordsburg station and keep on driving
06:30: Jackeline & # 39; s father tells agents that she no longer breathes
06:45: EMT & # 39; s treat Jackeline on the border police platform
07:45: She is flown to the Providence Children's Hospital in El Paso, Texas
December 8th: Jackeline Dies in the early morning after a CT scan revealed brain swelling, liver failure, dehydration and septic shock
MEASURED MEANS AND NO MEDICAL PERSONNEL
Asked by DailyMail.com whether it was possible that the girl was not thoroughly checked due to the fact that there were so few agents and so many migrants to process, the official denied that there was a lack of care.
"Our agents are almost always in the minority in the middle of the night at the border," they said.
There was no medical staff on site when they were first arrested and the checks carried out resulted in a visual observation and a list of questions, according to the officials.
FATHER SAID THAT THEY HAD NO HEALTH PROBLEMS
One thing that has been repeated by officials on and off the record is that no one made the alarm that the girl was sick until she was sick on the bus.
During the call on Friday, officers said the girl's father was being interviewed and answered, like others, about 20 questions.
Because she was a minor, he replied on her behalf.
Crucially, the officials said that the interview was in Spanish and that & # 39; all & # 39; border police agents & # 39; competent & # 39; in the language needed to keep their jobs.
His answers were translated and used to complete the form stating that the girl had no medical problems.
LONG WAIT TO GO ON THE BUS ON REMOTE-BASED, UNDERGROUND BASE
The first group, which mainly contained unaccompanied minors, was brought to Lordsburg from Antelope Wells at 22:00. There was only one bus available to agents in the area that is extremely remote.
While waiting for her ride, the girl and her father had access to food, water and toilets, according to the officials.
& # 39; We must use the resources we must use as efficiently and effectively as possible. These are difficult and remote areas, & # 39; said the official.
Ant Antelope Wells is a forward working base, it is different from a station.
& # 39; These are locations that we place in very remote areas. Nobody lives there and the roads are very limited. & # 39;
The office said earlier that she had not eaten or drank water for days, but they did not indicate how they knew it.
By the time she arrived at the border police station, after the trip, her temperature was 105.7 degrees.
When she was flown to the hospital, her father was driven to be with her. He was present before her death but has been in custody since then.
A group of migrants is arrested on December 2 at the border in Tijuana by US border police officers. The child who died is not mentioned
INSPECTOR-GENERAL LAUNCHES THE PROBE IN THE DEATH OF GIRLS
In a Friday statement, American Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said his agents & # 39; everything in the works & # 39; had done to save her as soon as they knew she was sick.
In spite of the efforts of our trained EMT agents to fight for the life of Jakelin and the work of the Hidalgo County medical teams and the Providence Children & # 39; s Hospital who treated her, we could not save her .
& # 39; The agents involved are deeply affected and are going to empathize with the father about the loss of his daughter. & # 39;
The ministry said it would review the procedures for disclosing information such as this in the light of the delay in announcing the death of the child.
REPUBLICANS SAY THAT IT WAS THE FAULT OF THE FAMILY TO TRY
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen repeated the earlier statements of the government about this during an interview on Friday and said that it was an example of the dangers of this trip.
& # 39;It is heartbreaking, is what it is. And my heart goes out to the family. Everything from DHS. You know this is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey.
& # 39; This family chose to cross illegally. What happened here was that they were about 90 miles away from where we could process them.
"They came in such a big crowd that our Border Patrol people needed a few times to get them all." She insisted that she and the other migrants' immediate care & # 39; but did not go into the details any further.
We will continue to look at the situation, but again, I can not stress enough how dangerous this trip is when migrants choose to come here illegally, & # 39; she said.
White House-deputy press officer John Hogan Gidley described her death as & # 39; gruesome & # 39 ;.
& # 39; It is a horrible, tragic situation. It is clear that our hearts go to the family and to everyone who has experienced some kind of danger and danger that they see so often when they make that trip from the southern border. It is a horrific situation.
& # 39; There are no two ways and it is – it is a sad time, but it is also useless. It is an unnecessary death and it can be prevented 100%.
& # 39; If we could just come together and pass on some common sense laws to discourage people from getting off the border and encourage them to do it the right way, the legal way, than that types of deaths, that type of attack, that kind of raped, child trafficking, trafficking that would come to an end.
& We hope that the Democrats join the President. & # 39;
The CBP said on Friday that DailyMail contacted agents earlier that day who could not stop this tragedy. & # 39;
& # 39; As we have always said, illegal travel to the north is extremely dangerous. Drug cartels, people smugglers and the elements are deadly risks for anyone who crosses the border illegally.
Border Patrol always cares for people who are in their care and does everything to keep them safe. Every year the Border Patrol saves hundreds of people who are overwhelmed by the elements between our ports of entry.
Unfortunately, despite our efforts and the best efforts of the medical team treating the child, we could not prevent this tragedy.
We are again begging parents not to endanger themselves or their children by illegally entering. Imagine yourself at a port of entry and try to enter legally and safely, "a spokesman said.
FURY OF DEMOCRATS AND CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS
The case has outraged civil rights groups, including the ACLU, and has given rise to further concerns about the humanitarian component of the ongoing border crisis.
Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement as one of the first to abhor the incident and demand answers.
It is heartbreaking and unacceptable that a 7-year-old girl died last week from dehydration and shock in the custody of customs and border control.
& # 39; It is illegal and simply barbaric to refuse water to a young girl in custody, especially after they have reported to the authorities.
"Families who walk hundreds of miles through the desert for a chance of a hiding place in the United States are desperate. This country owes their compassionate, humane treatment.
We will respond to Commissioner Kevin McAleenan's answers on how this might happen, & # 39; she said.
Cynthia Pompa, advocacy manager for the ACLU Border Rights Center, said that the deaths among migrants have increased last year, even when the number of border crossings decreased.
This tragedy represents the worst possible outcome when people, including children, are being held in inhumane conditions.
& # 39; Lack of responsibility and a culture of cruelty within the Dutch DPA have worsened the policy that leads to deaths among migrants, & # 39; said Pompa.