US says immigrant dies of ‘apparent suicide’ in Texas jail

In this file photo taken on November 1, 2017 US Border Patrol officer Tekae Michael stands near prototypes of US President Donald Trump's proposed border wall in San Diego, California. (AFP)
Updated 11 June 2018
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US says immigrant dies of ‘apparent suicide’ in Texas jail

  • Munoz entered the country with his wife and their 3-year-old son, and that he became enraged and had to be restrained when agents said the family would be separated
  • The Trump administration has been sharply criticized for separating families of immigrants arriving in the country illegally

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas: A Honduran man who entered the US illegally killed himself in a Texas jail despite guards checking on him every half-hour and a camera in his padded cell, authorities say.
Marco Antonio Munoz, 39, was found unresponsive in his cell on the morning of May 13, a day after US Customs and Border Protection agents brought him to the jail and two days after he was detained for entering the country illegally, the Starr County Sheriff’s Office says in an incident report filed June 5 with the Texas attorney general’s office and obtained Sunday by the Associated Press.
According to the report, jail officers said Munoz became combative during the booking process and was restrained and placed in a padded cell overnight. They said they checked on him every 30 minutes and at least once more during the morning shift before they eventually found him unresponsive on the floor.
Munoz was declared dead around 10 a.m., the report states. The sheriff’s office said he didn’t show any mental health problems or say anything that might have suggested he was thinking about killing himself.
Video footage from inside the cell showed that Munoz tied his sweater around a drain grate in the floor, looped it around his neck and turned his body around several times, cutting off his circulation and breathing. The report doesn’t say what time that occurred and the sheriff’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment Sunday.
The Washington Post , citing unnamed border agents with detailed knowledge of what occurred, reports that Munoz entered the country with his wife and their 3-year-old son, and that he became enraged and had to be restrained when agents said the family would be separated.
The sheriff’s report, like a CBP news release on Saturday, made no mention of details in the newspaper’s story about why Munoz might have been so despondent.
The Trump administration has been sharply criticized for separating families of immigrants arriving in the country illegally.
The CBP statement said Munoz was apprehended by officers from its the Weslaco border station and transferred to the Rio Grande Valley immigration processing center. It said he was sent to the Starr County jail after becoming “disruptive and combative.”
A CBP spokesman declined to comment further on Sunday. The Texas Rangers, who are investigating the death, as well as the state attorney general’s office, the Honduran embassy in D.C. and the Honduran consulate offices in Houston and McAllen, Texas also didn’t immediately respond to calls and emails seeking comment.


Hungary detains Syrian Daesh member accused of killings: prosecutors

Updated 22 March 2019
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Hungary detains Syrian Daesh member accused of killings: prosecutors

  • Eurojust, the European agency that oversees judicial co-operation in crime investigations, working with Belgian and Hungarian authorities, found evidence later that he was a member of Daesh
  • Prior to being detained, the man was already awaiting deportation to Greece

BUDAPEST: Hungarian authorities have detained a Syrian man on Friday accused of taking part in beheadings in Syria as a member of Daesh, Budapest prosecutors said in a statement.
The man, not identified in the statement, is suspected of executing about 20 people in 2016, all family members of a person in Homs city who refused to join Daesh, the prosecutors said.
The statement said the man, prior to being detained, was already awaiting deportation to Greece.
He had been caught with forged documents in Budapest's main airport on Dec. 30 last year, given a suspended prison sentence for human trafficking and other crimes, and ordered expelled from Hungary.
Eurojust, the European agency that oversees judicial co-operation in crime investigations, working with Belgian and Hungarian authorities, found evidence later that he was a member of Daesh, the prosecutors said.