A San Diego police cruiser
A San Diego police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

The Mexican government has requested an “expedite(d), impartial and thorough” investigation into the in-custody death of an alleged illegal border crosser who was arrested by federal officers near the Otay Port of Entry, officials said Wednesday.

The death of the 38-year-old Mexican national was reported shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, according to the San Diego Police Department.

“The Consulate has requested local authorities to conduct an expedite, impartial and thorough investigation to establish the facts and to hold accountable those responsible,” according to a statement from the Consulate General of Mexico in San Diego. “[The Consulate] has as well established communication with a consulting attorney so that Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs can determine the legal measures to be undertaken in defense of the Mexican national.”

The victim, whose name has not been released, had been arrested earlier that day by a U.S. Border Patrol agent and was stricken by an apparent medical emergency while awaiting processing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, SDPD Lt. Jud Campbell said.

The SDPD Homicide Unit was called in to investigate the fatality.

The Consulate General of Mexico in San Diego is offering assistance to the victim’s relatives to secure legal aid and transfer the victim back to Mexico.

“Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs deeply regrets the death of the Mexican national and underscores the importance that repatriations occur in a safe, orderly and dignified manner, and with strict adherence to the current legal framework,” according to the Consulate. “The protection of Mexican community abroad constitutes the highest priority of our foreign policy.”

Updated at 3:41 p.m. Jan. 19, 2022

–City News Service