Indian Law Resource Center responds to young Maya girl’s death in U.S. custody

Photo courtesy: Tobias Keller

The United States has refused to take any responsibility for 7-year-old Maya Q’eqchi’ Guatemalan Jackeline Caal

News Release

Indian Law Resource Center

The Indian Law Resource Center would like to express our deep sadness and concern at the recent death of Jakelin Caal Maquin, a 7-year-old Maya Q’eqchi’ girl from Guatemala who died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at a medical facility in El Paso, Texas. According to reports by NBC, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post, the United States refused to take any blame for her death, despite Jakelin not receiving medical attention for an hour and a half after her father reported her symptoms. During this time, Jakelin was transported by bus from Antelope Wells, New Mexico, where she and her father turned themselves over to U.S. authorities, to the border station at Lordsburg, N.M.

Jakelin’s death demonstrates the real and tragic consequences of the violation of indigenous peoples’ human rights. We reject the White House’s denial of culpability and call upon the U.S. government to rigorously and thoroughly investigate how this tragedy occurred while this young indigenous girl was supposedly under the care of the U.S. government. We also ask that journalists and reporters covering the story acknowledge Jakelin’s indigenous identity as they share this tragic but important story.

In solidarity with indigenous peoples fighting for their rights and survival everywhere,

The Indian Law Resource Center

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