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A man dies in a U.S. immigration detention center, under unusual circumstances. He is found unresponsive in his cell, with a sock stuffed down his throat. His death is ruled a suicide, but little information is put out about what happened, and the family wants answers. In this first part of a special two-part series, Latino USA investigates why José de Jesús died in the custody of the U.S. government, and what his death tells us about conditions —especially mental health services— inside the immigration detention system.

For more about José’s story, visit Latino USA’s special report originally published on July 15, 2016. 

Featured image by Fernanda Echávarri/Latino USA.

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One thought on “The Strange Death Of José De Jesús, Part 1

  1. I had to turn the radio off as I felt sick to my stomach — and not for the reason the journalists might think. These journalists sound young and callow; so excited to get the next coup — a ‘journalist’s dream’ one of them calls the information he has received. Breathlessly detailing each text, each email, the FOIA requests they received, as though participating in some televised murder mystery.

    Except for one thing: this isn’t fiction. This isn’t television. This isn’t simply a fantastic project for the journalists to accomplish and place on their résumé. A man is dead. And he might not have been thrilled at these young kids excitedly probing for details on his depression and breathlessly reporting them to a national audience. In the very least, the tone should have been a lot more sober and somber than it actually was. Someone deceased under tragic circumstances and the breathless, bubbling excitement felt disrespectful and inappropriate. Inhumane, even. His life deserved more respect, sobriety and gravity. These cub reporters would do well to remember this in the future.

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