Mexico says two women may have had non-consensual surgery in U.S. detention center

While being held at the Irwin center in Georgia, one Mexican woman was reportedly subject to gynecological surgery without her approval and without receiving post-operative care, the ministry said in a weekend statement.
While being held at the Irwin center in Georgia, one Mexican woman was reportedly subject to gynecological surgery without her approval and without receiving post-operative care, the ministry said in a weekend statement.
Image: 123RF/Chanawit Sitthisombat

Mexico's Foreign Ministry said it has identified two Mexican migrant women who may have had surgery performed on them without their consent while detained at a U.S. immigration center in the state of Georgia.

While being held at the Irwin center in Georgia, one Mexican woman was reportedly subject to gynecological surgery without her approval and without receiving post-operative care, the ministry said in a weekend statement.

The ministry said its findings were based on actions taken by consular staff and interviews Mexican officials conducted at the center.

Officials were also verifying the case of a second woman who may have been subject to surgical intervention "without her full consent," without receiving an explanation in Spanish of the procedure, or her medical diagnosis, it added.

It did not name the women. The ministry last month said it had identified a woman possibly subjected to surgery in the center, but did not specify whether she had given her consent.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency did not respond to a request for comment.

The ministry also said it is in touch with a lawyer about a possible class action lawsuit by Mexican women who have been detained at the facility.

In September, a complaint by a whistleblower nurse alleged medical abuse within the Georgia detention center, including unauthorized hysterectomies, a surgery to remove the uterus.

Reuters could not independently confirm those claims. In its statement, the Mexican foreign ministry said the first woman it referred to was not subject to a hysterectomy. It gave no further details on the second.

ICE Health Service Corps said in September that since 2018 only two people at the center were referred for hysterectomies, based on approved recommendations by specialists.

The contractor that runs the facility has said it strongly refutes the allegations and any implications of misconduct.

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