02 Agosto 2017 09:14
The teenager claimed it was apple juice but the officers didn't believe him
Cruz Marcelino Velazquez Acevedo, a 16-year-old Mexican from Tijuana, died from acute intoxication after two US border agents forced him to drink liquid methamphetamine.
The incident occurred on 18 November 2013 as the teenager attempted to enter the USA from Tijuana. Velazquez was carrying two bottles of liquids that he claimed was apple juice, but the officers believed the amber liquid was actually a deadly controlled substance.
Footage from the US Customs and Border Protection Office shows how the two officers, Valerie Baird and Adrian Perallon, make Velazquez sip from the bottles four times to prove they really contain apple juice.
After Velazquez had sipped the liquids, a drug-sniffing K9 was brought over and smelled the illegal drug. The teen was handcuffed and taken into custody. Soon after, he began sweating profusely, 'screaming in pain and clenching his fist' before shouting 'Mi corazón! Mi corazón!' – 'My heart! My heart!' The teenager died just a few hours later.
Marcelino's family's lawyer said that while it was true that Velazquez had done something wrong, 'it wasn't a death penalty case. To cause him to die in the horrible way that he did is something execrable.' The lawyer added that the officers 'knew exactly what they were doing.'
Methamphetamine is a recreational drug which affects the nervous system. It can be deadly in its liquid state as it directly attacks the stomach.
Velazquez's parents maintain than their son was 'coerced and intimidated' into ingesting the methamphetamine, although the border protection officers deny doing so. The youth's death prompted an internal affairs investigation but neither officer was disciplined. Velazquez's family has recently been paid $1m in compensation by the US government.