Guatemalan migrant girl in U.S. custody died of sepsis: autopsy report

By Julio-Cesar Chavez EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) - The death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl in U.S. federal custody in December was caused by strep-induced sepsis, a Texas medical examiner's autopsy report released on Friday showed. Jakelin Caal travelled with her father to a remote stretch of U.S.

Reuters March 30, 2019 04:06:14 IST
Guatemalan migrant girl in U.S. custody died of sepsis: autopsy report

Guatemalan migrant girl in US custody died of sepsis autopsy report

By Julio-Cesar Chavez

EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) - The death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl in U.S. federal custody in December was caused by strep-induced sepsis, a Texas medical examiner's autopsy report released on Friday showed.

Jakelin Caal travelled with her father to a remote stretch of U.S. border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico, where they turned themselves in to border agents on Dec. 6. They were among tens of thousands of Central American migrants who have attempted to cross the U.S. southern border in recent months in a bid to escape poverty or violence in their home countries.

After U.S. border officers took them into custody, Caal grew increasingly ill and was taken to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, where she died on Dec. 8.

The autopsy by El Paso County's medical examiner, found that Caal died of "sequelae of Streptococcal sepsis," an often deadly reaction to infection or bacteria.

But the release of Caal's autopsy and the pinpointing of her cause of death are unlikely to resolve the larger questions about how migrants are treated in the hands of authorities.

"The clinical course and autopsy findings are those of a rapidly progressive infection, with prompt systemic bacterial spread and substantial clinical deterioration," the report said.

The strep bacteria were found throughout Caal's major organs, including her lungs, adrenal gland, liver, and spleen, the report said.

Caal's death fuelled criticism from opponents of U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policies, which have sought to discourage migrants from seeking haven in the United States. The White House said the Trump administration was not to blame for the death, but critics, including Democrats in Congress, said detained migrants should have more medical attention in border facilities to prevent such cases.

On Friday, Trump, in an apparent reference to Caal's death, told reporters that her father "gave the child no water for a long period of time."

Caal's family had previously said she was in no medical distress when she and her father arrived at the border and that they had received enough food and water on their journey.

A DHS account of her death, released in December, said an initial medical screening of Caal had found no health issues, and that the father had denied that he or his daughter were ill.

Shortly after Caal's death, a second Guatemalan child, a boy of 8, died after being detained by U.S. border agents. Afterwards, the Trump administration announced DHS policy changes aimed at preventing deaths of children in custody, including more thorough medical checks.

(Reporting by Julio-Cesar Chavez, Writing by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Richard Chang)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.