GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – A 24-year-old Guatemalan man wanted on murder charges in his home country was removed to Guatemala April 24 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in New York.
Gilber Alonzo Hernandez Lopez, of Guatemala, was charged with murder for his alleged involvement in the 2013 murder of his cousin. According to the Guatemalan Policia Nacional Civil (PNC), in October 2013, Lopez and two other men argued with Lopez’s cousin for an unknown reason. The cousin was later found dead after being shot in the head with a weapon allegedly belonging to Lopez.
Lopez, who entered the United States at an unknown place and time, was arrested by ERO officers in New York Dec. 14. He was charged with being in the country unlawfully and placed in removal proceedings. On Feb. 23, an immigration judge found him ineligible for immigration relief and ordered him removed from the United States.
Since October 2009, ERO has removed more than 900 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.
In fiscal year 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. In addition to convicted criminals, the agency's enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives. In fiscal year 2014, 98 percent of ICE removals met these priorities.