The stories of two 20-year-old Guatemalan women may have wildly different endings, as one waits for authorities to decide if she and her young daughter will be granted asylum while the other is likely to be returned to her native country in a body bag.
A 20-year-old Guatemalan immigrant named Claudia Patricia Gómez Gonzáles died on Wednesday after she was shot in the head by an agent in Rio Bravo, Texa posed no physical threat, but she was shot in the head by an ICE agent yesterday at Rio Bravo, a Texas town on the US border with Mexico, about 170 miles south of San Antonio.
In a video posted on Facebook, a woman bystander yells at the ICE agent: “Why are you mistreating them? Why are you mistreating them? Why did you (shoot) at the girl? You killed her. He killed the girl. She’s laying there and she’s dead.”
A Border Patrol agent responding to a report of illegal activity, discovered a group of undocumented immigrants near a culvert, said a US Customs and Border Protection spokesperson.
The agent claimed he came under attack by people with blunt objects when he tried to apprehend the undocumented immigrants, and fired at least one round, fatally wounding one person. The FBI and Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting and apprehended three undocumented immigrants.
Fire Chief Juan C. Gonzalez of Rio Bravo Fire & Rescue said the woman was shot in the head, but had a pulse when the department his team got to the scene at 12:47 p.m.,but she died in the eight minutes they performed CPR.
Webb County Medical Examiner Corinne Stern said her office has been in touch with the Guatemalan consulate as they work to identify the shooting victim. The American Civil Liberties Union called for all border agents to begin wearing body cameras.
Gómez left her home in the rural village San Juan Ostuncalco in the western region of Quetzaltenango earlier this month and traveled to the US to find work to pay for further education, according to an interview with her mother broadcast on a local TV channel.
“She told me she wanted to keep studying at university but we don’t have the money … We’re poor and there are no jobs here, that’s why she traveled to the US – but they killed her. Immigration killed her,” said Lidia Gonzalez. “She didn’t do anything wrong.”
Speaking through her tears, she said: “I just want them to send me her body, I don’t know why immigration killed my child.”
It’s been four days since Manuela Rodriguez Garcia arrived in the United States, after braving the cold at night and the heat during the day for a chance at asylum.
She says hardships she faced at the U.S.-Mexico border pale in comparison to her life back home.
The 20-year-old fled her native Guatemala, where she was raped, got pregnant and gave birth to her baby daughter seven months ago.
The child’s father refused to recognize her, and instead has repeatedly threatened to kill them and bribed a judge when she tried to report him, Rodriguez said.
As she waited to talk to an immigration officer at a border crossing, Rodriguez grew concerned about what her future holds.
“Another woman told me that they would take away my daughter, and I got scared,” she told The Arizona Republic on Thursday as her seven-month-old daughter, Ashley, cooed on her lap.
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