The family of José de Jesús Deniz-Sahagún—a Mexico native, whose sudden death at the Eloy Detention Center was ruled a suicide
—is hosting a vigil outside the facility this evening (Friday, June 26).
Although the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner issued a detailed account of what allegedly went down inside those walls, the family and several immigration rights advocates still demand for an independent investigation into Eloy and Deniz-Sahagún's death.
Deniz-Sahagún was found dead in his cell on May 20. Gregory Hess, the chief medical examiner, said he died of asphyxiation after shoving a knee-high sock down his throat.
About 200 detainees declared a hunger strike two weekends ago
—which Immigration and Customs Enforcement repeatedly denies—to protest the detention center's alleged poor health and mental care, and other types of severe abuse. Some alleged witnessing guards beat Deniz-Sahagún and then put him in solitary confinement. However, the medical examiner's autopsy report says
he was a troubled person who was on suicide watch since arriving to Eloy.
The organization Puente Human Rights Movement issued this response after the autopsy results emerged:
“We mourn the death of Jose de Jesus and will continue to demand justice for him, others who have died in Eloy, and all those subjected to the ongoing abuse, neglect, and terror that happens there," said Francisca Porchas, organizing director of Puente. "Recently, the murders of black and brown people because of law enforcement that have happened on our streets have made national news. Is it any stretch to believe they are also killing our people, via direct assault or medical neglect, behind the walls and bars of detention facilities? ”
U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva last week sent a letter
to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backing up requests for the Department of Justice to launch a public investigation into allegations of abuse and two deaths at Eloy.
"We won't stop until we have the truth, justice for all our people, and until detention ends, once and for all," the event's Facebook page
The vigil starts at 7 p.m.