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June 18, 2024Chaparral, NM, United StatesDetainee Death Notifications

Ecuadoran national passes away in ICE custody

CHAPARRAL, N.M. — An Ecuadoran national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement passed away at the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, New Mexico, on June 15. An autopsy is pending to determine the official cause of death.

Jhon Javier Benavides-Quintana, 32, unlawfully entered the United States from Mexico on March 22, in El Paso, Texas. U.S. Border Patrol agents immediately apprehended him and transported him to the El Paso Sector Hardened Facility for further processing. Border Patrol agents served Benavides-Quintana with a notice and order of expedited removal.

On March 24, 2024, Border Patrol transferred Benavides-Quintana to the custody of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations El Paso, and he was booked into the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral.

Consistent with ICE protocols, the appropriate components were notified about the death, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.

Additionally, ICE notified Ecuadoran officials of Benavides-Quintana’s passing. Staff from the Otero County Processing Center notified his next of kin.

ICE remains committed to ensuring that all those in its custody reside in safe, secure and humane environments. Comprehensive medical care is provided from the moment individuals arrive and throughout the entirety of their stay. All people in ICE custody receive medical, dental and mental health intake screening within 12 hours of arriving at each detention facility, a full health assessment within 14 days of entering ICE custody or arrival at a facility, and access to medical appointments and 24-hour emergency care. At no time during detention is a detained noncitizen denied emergent care.

Upon an official report of a detained noncitizen death, ERO makes official notifications to Congress, nongovernmental organization stakeholders, and the media and posts a news release with relevant details on the public website within two business days, per agency policy. This information may be accessed in the Newsroom.

Additionally, Congressional requirements described in the DHS Appropriations Bill (2018) require ICE to make public all reports regarding an in-custody death within 90 days. These reports may be accessed on the Detainee Death Reporting page.