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Third Adelanto ICE Detainee Dies In As Many Months

A guard stands in front of detainees playing soccer at the Adelanto Detention Facility earlier in the day on Wednesday. (Photo by Julia Wick/LAist)
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A Honduran man in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) died in an ambulance en route to a Victorville hospital from the Adelanto Detention Center on Wednesday night, marking the third Adelanto detainee death since March 28. The high desert facility is the largest immigrant detention center in California.

According to an ICE release, Vicente Caceres-Maradiaga, 46, collapsed while playing soccer at the detention facility on Wednesday evening. ICE reports that Adelanto security staff issued "a code blue" and immediately began efforts to resuscitate him after he collapsed, including applying a defibrillator multiple times. Caceres-Maradiaga had been diagnosed with hypertension and an umbilical hernia and was being treated for both conditions while in ICE custody, according to the agency's statement. His preliminary cause of death is listed as acute coronary syndrome, which, according to the American Heart Association, is "an umbrella term for situations where the blood supplied to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked."

Caceres-Maradiaga had been in ICE custody since May 22 following his arrest in North Hollywood by an ICE Fugitive Operations Team, and had a pending deportation case. According to the agency, he had prior criminal convictions for a DUI and fraud.

Sergio Alonso Lopez, a 55-year-old Mexican man, died in ICE custody at a Victorville hospital in April, and Osmar Epifanio Gonzalez-Gadba, a 32-year-old Nicaraguan man, died at the same hospital in March. Gonzalez-Gadba had attempted suicide at the Adelanto facility six days prior to his death.

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The privately-owned Adelanto Detention Facility is run, like many other immigrant detention facilities, by GEO Group, the nation's second largest for-profit prison operator. ICE contracts with the city of Adelanto for the space, and the city of Adelanto contracts with Geo Group to run it, according to KPCC. The Adelanto facility, which is one of three immigrant detention centers in the Los Angeles area, has an average population just below 2000 people. A recent report issued by Human Rights Watch and Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) identified "systemic" issues in immigrant detainee medical care at facilities across the nation, including at Adelanto.