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The Office of Inspector General Completes Investigation of Mexican National who Died in U.S. Border Patrol Custody in El Paso, TX

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Public Affairs (202) 254-4100

For Immediate Release

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated an investigation after information was received from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Professional Responsibility that a Mexican national passed away from medical related issues. The individual was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in El Paso, TX, on March 17, 2019, was transferred to Las Palmas Medical Center on the evening of March 17, 2019, and died on March 18, 2019.

DHS OIG reviewed video from the Paso del Norte Processing Center and interviewed undocumented noncitizens, Border Patrol Agents, medical personnel, and Emergency Medical Technicians to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the individual’s death.

The County of El Paso, Office of the Medical Examiner and Forensic Laboratory deemed that the individual died of natural causes, and cited streptococcus pneumonia and influenza A/H3 pneumonia with hypertensive cardiovascular disease as a significant contributing factor.

During the course of our investigation, we found no evidence that actions taken by DHS personnel or contractors contributed to the death of the individual.

For more information visit our website, www.oig.dhs.gov

DHS Agency