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The Honduran immigrant Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, was found dead in his cell after being separated from his wife and son at the border. Photo: Starr County Sheriff's office.
Honduran immigrant Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, was found dead in his cell after being separated from his wife and son at the border. Photo: Starr County Sheriff's office.

The sad end of a detained Honduran immigrant

Marco Antonio Muñoz decided to take his own life in a prison in Texas after being detained and separated from his family when he tried to enter the country…

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Few can understand the desperation and anguish that forces immigrants to leave their countries and try to cross the border.

Thanks to the dehumanizing campaign of the White House and the anti-immigration measures of the Trump administration, the immigrant has become a criminal who only wants to "take advantage" of the circumstances, overlooking the serious emotional cost that a decision like traveling without documentation implies.

But the story of Marco Antonio Muñoz speaks of everything that political proselytism erases to justify its racism.

Muñoz left Honduras with his wife Orlanda and his three-year-old son after his brother-in-law was killed, leaving the family "fearing for their lives," explained Consul Ana Bulnes to the Washington Post.

The Muñoz family crossed the Rio Grande on May 12 near a small town in Granjeno, Texas, and voluntarily surrendered to the authorities to seek asylum. After being taken into custody, Border Patrol agents informed them that the family would be separated.

In reaction, Marco Antonio became violent and refused to give up his son.

According to what an agent explained to the Post, the father of the family was emotionally destabilized to the point of being agitated and trying to escape three times.

The situation was so serious that he had to be placed in an isolation cell with chains in a local jail in Starr County, where he was found the next day without vital signs, with blood on his nose and "a piece of clothing tied around his neck".

As Bulnes explained, the couple had lived in the United States before and had a U.S. citizen child between 6 and 7 years old, she told the Post. "The family had decided to voluntarily return to Honduras a few years ago to grow coffee in the rural area of Copán."

The murder of his brother-in-law caused them to decide to return, putting the eldest son on a plane and bringing the little one with them by land, Bulnes continued.

After the death of the father, the family was able to identify the body and the embassy of Honduras was in charge of the repatriation of the remains.

Both his wife and their youngest son were able to reunite with their other son "somewhere in the northern United States."

This incident happened just weeks after the "zero tolerance" operation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions against undocumented immigration came into effect.

Although the United Nations has unanimously declared that "separating families at the border is illegal," Sessions approved on Monday a judicial decision that eliminates domestic and criminal gang violence as grounds for granting asylum to foreign immigrants.

The evaluation of the psychological impact and the trauma to which immigrants are subjected by the persecution and detention measures are still not taken into account when making decisions that violate human rights.

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