Child who died in custody of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol was Maya Q'eqchi'

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

[Washington D.C., December 14, 2018] – The Indian Law Resource Center expresses its deep sadness and concern at the recent death of Jackeline Caal, 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 Jackeline not receiving medical attention for an hour and a half after her father reported her symptoms. During this time, Jackeline 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.

Jackeline’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 Jacqueline’s indigenous identity as they share this tragic but important news.  

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

The Indian Law Resource Center