Early April, 2021

The Kino Border Initiative reported Border Patrol’s expulsion to Mexico of a Guatemalan asylum seeker despite his claims of fear of return, and his claims to have suffered abduction and assault while in Arizona:

A Guatemalan man who entered the US to seek asylum earlier this month got lost while walking in the desert. As he and the man he was traveling with tried to find their way in the desert in southern Arizona, a group of three armed men dressed in black began firing shots at them. The armed men threw the men to the ground, tied their hands, covered their eyes with blindfolds, and took them to a house where they beat him, took his clothes off, tied him up, and left him outside for an entire day and night. The following day, the kidnappers left him on the side of the road, where he sought help and eventually laid down to await Border Patrol agents. The man attempted to assert his fear of traffickers in Mexico with Border Patrol Agents at the field station and later at the processing center in Tucson, but all officials with whom he spoke ignored his fear-based claims. BP agents returned him to Nogales, Mexico, where he is at risk of further attack by his traffickers.

— “April 15 Update From KBI” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, April 15, 2021).

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Denial of Protection to Most Vulnerable

Accountability Status: Shared with Congressional Oversight Committees, Unknown

Victim Classification: Guatemala, Kidnap Victim, Single Adult