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In this handout photo provided by the Office of Inspector General, overcrowding of families is observed by OIG at U.S. Border Patrol Weslaco Station on June 11, 2019, in Weslaco, Texas.  (Photo by Office of Inspector General/Department of Homeland Security via Getty Images)
In this handout photo provided by the Office of Inspector General, overcrowding of families is observed by OIG at U.S. Border Patrol Weslaco Station on June 11, 2019, in Weslaco, Texas.  (Photo by Office of Inspector General/Department of Homeland…

A Crime Against Humanity

There is no limit to the cruelty.

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On May 20 a flu-ridden 16-year-old from Guatemala writhed in agony for four hours on the floor of a U.S. Border Patrol cell in Weslaco, Texas before he was found dead by his cellmate. His name was Carlos Hernández Vásquez, and the only reason we know it is that ProPublica obtained and released a surveillance video showing his last hours. He is only one of at least six children who have died while under immigration custody since December 2018.

The harrowing video shows the boy not moving after 1:39 a.m. He had fallen to the floor face first 15 minutes before. According to published reports, Border Patrol logs say an agent performed a welfare check at 2:02 a.m., 4:09 a.m., and 5:05 a.m., but didn’t go inside despite police photos showing a large pool of blood around the kid’s head.

“To all of us who covered the wars in Central America and know why these young people flee their countries, this is a declaration of war,” said Susanne Ramírez de Arellano, a veteran journalist who covered, among many other horrors, the massacre of El Mozote in El Salvador. “How is this possible? How? Washington has more than blood-stained hands, it has the whole soul. This is murder.” Yes, it is, and it is high time to start calling the horrors inflicted on immigrants by Donald Trump and his corrupt administration by what they really are.

And still the corrupt regime that threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans, wants to starve Cuba and Venezuela to death, is behind the Bolivian coup, and demands from its Latin American acolytes the ending of the Cuban doctors’ program endangering the health of their own people, etc. etc., dares to talk of human rights. No two ways about it: these are bad people and they hate us. 

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