• Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:36 am

Mexico asks US for answers about alleged migrant detention abuse

  • Published at 10:58 am September 17th, 2020
US immigrant detention
File photo: Detained immigrants play soccer behind a barbed wire fence at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia. February 20, 2018. Picture taken February 20, 2018. REUTERS

The request comes after a complaint by a whistleblower nurse alleging that detainees in a Georgia immigration detention facility had improperly received hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures

Mexico said on Wednesday said it had formally requested a report from US authorities regarding alleged negligent practices in US immigration detention centers, citing accusations of sexual abuse and unauthorized hysterectomies.

The request comes after a complaint by a whistleblower nurse alleging that detainees in a Georgia immigration detention facility had improperly received hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures.

The complaint did not specify the nationality of the affected detainees.

In a separate case, the Mexican ministry said its consulate in El Paso, Texas was in contact with a Mexican woman and her lawyer after an allegation of sexual abuse by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

It did not give more details.

In August, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune reported allegations of a guard sexually abusing detainees including a Mexican woman at an El Paso immigration detention center. ICE at the time said the accusations would be investigated.


Also read: US closes lanes, adds checks at Mexico border to contain Covid-19


The ministry said both consulates were seeking clarity from US authorities and trying to identify any affected Mexicans.

It said Mexico had activated consular protection mechanisms and that consular personnel had increased attention at the detention centers to ensure rights were respected, the ministry said.

“The government of Mexico will promptly follow up through its various diplomatic and legal instruments to fully understand what happened,” the ministry said in a statement.

ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The nurse’s allegations of improper medical procedures on detainees at the Irwin County Detention Center were filed on Monday to the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General by advocacy groups Project South and the Government Accountability Project.

Reuters interviewed Wooten but could not independently confirm the claims of improper hysterectomies, or surgery to remove the uterus.

ICE on Monday denied the allegations.

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