Woman Shot by US Border Agent Returns to Guatemala

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The body of a young Guatemalan woman who was shot dead last week by a U.S. border agent near Laredo, Texas, arrived Thursday in her home country and was turned over to her grieving parents.

Lidia and Gilberto Gomez received the white coffin carrying their daughter Claudia Patricia Gomez in the Guatemalan capital. Its cover partway lifted, they kissed and caressed the glass pane in which she was encased.

They were taking the body later to her hometown of San Juan Ostuncalco, outside the western highland city of Quetzaltenango, for a wake and burial.

Gomez, 19, who studied forensic accounting, had sought admission to a state university but failed to pass three admission exams. Living in poverty and unable to find work, she left for the United States about a month ago.

On May 23 she died of a gunshot to the head in an incident that is still under investigation.

The U.S. Border Patrol initially said that the lone agent fired after being attacked “by multiple subjects using blunt objects.” It later said the group had ignored his orders to get on the ground and “rushed him.”

It also initially described Gomez as “one of the assailants” but later revised that to say she was “one member of the group.”

Three other Guatemalans were taken into custody during the incident.

Relatives of Gomez have asked for an investigation of the shooting death and the border agent involved.

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