We Still Don't Know Exactly What Happened to Juan de León Gutiérrez

[Content Note: Nativism; death; child abuse.]

One week ago, I wrote about the death of a third child while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We now know his name: Juan de León Gutiérrez. But we still don't know much more than that, because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services refuses to answer any questions about his death.

What we do know is care of "the Nueces County medical examiner in Corpus Christi, citing information from a children's hospital in Corpus Christi, where he was in intensive care for several days before his death."

Juan reportedly had a rare condition known as Pott's puffy tumor, a "swelling that occurs on a patient's forehead caused by an infection in the frontal bone. The condition is rare, and while usually treatable with antibiotics, it can require surgery."
Two pediatricians told The Associated Press that the condition is often caused by severe sinus infection, which can lead to bacteria building up in a person's head and spreading. An unchecked head injury can also lead to bacteria spreading. Headaches are a common symptom as well as vomiting and fever.

...Dr. Katherine Ratzan Peeler, a pediatrician affiliated with the advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights, called on the U.S. government to release more information about how it handled Juan's case.
Juan was a child whose family paid a smuggler to get him to the United States because he "was from Camotán, one of the poorest, most arid parts of Guatemala in what's known as the dry corridor, where there has been a prolonged drought for nearly two years." They were trying to save him. He was no threat to anyone on this side of the border.

My sincerest condolences to his family. I am so sorry.

* * *

Jakelin Caal Maquin.

Felipe Alonzo-Gomez.

Juan de León Gutiérrez.

These are the names of migrant children who have died in U.S. custody.

[Related Reading: The U.S. Is Taking Migrant Children into Custody and Neglecting Them.]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus