Colombian migrant in federal custody dies in Harlingen hospital

A Colombian man who was under federal custody died Monday at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, according to a news release.

Diego Fernando Gallego-Agudelo, 45, from Colombia, was hospitalized on March 6. 

Gallego-Agudelo was at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos under the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to the release, the man entered the country on March 3 near Hidalgo, where U.S. Border Patrol apprehended him. He was later transferred to the detention center.

“On March 6, he entered the facility’s medical health unit with health complaints and was transferred to the hospital that same day. The preliminary cause of death is unknown pending the outcome of an autopsy,” the agency stated in the release.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility were contacted as per procedure. 

ICE also alerted the Colombian consulate to help notify next of kin.

“ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does (following) all in-custody deaths,” the release stated. “Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the national average for the U.S. detained population.”