Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Mexico investigates medical procedures at US detention center

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced that Mexico is investigating a whistleblower’s claim that at least six migrant women have been subjected to improper gynecological procedures including hysterectomies while being detained in the United States.

Ebrard said that if the allegations of abuse in the complaint filed on behalf of nurse Dawn Wooten are true it would be “unacceptable.”

“This has to be cleared up. If it is confirmed it would be a major issue and not only punished but also other measures would be taken,” he said in a press conference.

“Although so far we have no news that the alleged hysterectomies that have been performed at the center have been performed on Mexican citizens, we need to be certain of what is happening,” said Karen Quiroga Anguiano, gender equality spokeswoman for the Democratic Revolution Party.

“We know that the government of Mexico has a good relationship with that of the United States and does not want fights or controversies,” she added, “but it cannot put that kind of interest before the integrity of the people.”

The women mentioned in the complaint are being held at the Irwin County, Georgia, immigration detention center (ICDC). Their nationalities have not been revealed.

Advocacy groups Project South and the Government Accountability Project filed the complaint based on Wooten’s claims of abuse with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) office of the inspector general on September 14.

In addition to unnecessary hysterectomies, the complaint mentions “jarring medical neglect at ICDC including refusal to test detained immigrants for Covid-19 who have been exposed to the virus and are symptomatic, shredding of medical requests submitted by detained immigrants, and fabricating medical records.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have denied the allegations set forth in the complaint, although interim ICE director Tony Pham pledged to investigate and that “individuals found to have violated our policies and procedures should be held accountable.”

Source: Reuters (en)

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