UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard and Prof. Carl Hart claims that methamphetamine doesn’t cause brain damage or violence to its users, however, a 16-year-old teen dies after drinking liquid meth at the US border.
The tragic death of 16-year-old teenager Cruz Velazquez happened at the U.S. border in 2013.
Cruz was traveling from Tijuana and was entering the US at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near San Diego when he was stopped by the US Customs and Border Protection Agency.
He was carrying two drink bottles of an amber-colored liquid in his backpack, telling the officers that he was carrying apple juice.
However, the officials didn’t believe the teen and test the liquid to discern whether it was dangerous but the test is not effective and was sent to a secondary inspection site.
Then the teen sips on the liquid to prove it was only apple juice but the highly toxic substance immediately takes effect.
Cruz began sweating and convulsing on the floor, the young lad screams in pain and repeatedly shouted “mi corazon” (my heart) before being rushed to a hospital, where he died.
Apparently, liquid methamphetamine was being smuggled like this. This way it is easier to traffic and harder to detect at border checks.
Meanwhile, the Velazquez’ family claim that the officers contributed to Cruz’s death by not giving him immediate medical care and even coercing him into drinking the dangerous liquid.
After a year-long investigation into the death, the surveillance footage was then aired on ABC with the help of the family’s lawyer Eugene Iredale.
“What you see, I think, is a basic lack of compassion and decency toward a 16-year-old boy. Almost a delight that you would see in children who just pull the wings off flies slowly, a smile when he’s being asked to drink something and being put in this position,” Iredale stated.
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The lawyer also said the footage shows that the officers suspected it contained the drug but encouraged him to drink it regardless, looking unconcerned and joking around.
Iredale said, ”It’s true that Cruz was doing something that was against the law, and that he did not have to be doing. It’s also true that they did not point their guns at him or physically threaten him, but in a social context in which this occurred, they knew exactly what they were doing.”
The San Diego County’s Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that the death was accidental, but the family filed a lawsuit in a Californian federal court, and eventually settled it for $1 million back in March this year.