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Democracy Now!

Border Patrol Agents Urged Mexican Teen to Sip Liquid Meth That Killed Him

Newly released video footage shows U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents telling 16-year-old Mexican teenager Cruz Velazquez to drink from a bottle of liquid methamphetamine at a border checkpoint in San Diego, causing him to die from an acute drug overdose. In 2013, the teenager was crossing from Tijuana to California with two bottles of what he claimed was apple juice. The video shows the border agents, who suspected the liquid was liquid meth, repeatedly encouraging the teenager to drink from it and prove he wasn’t lying. Minutes after the teenager sipped on the liquid, his body began convulsing, and he began shouting "my heart" in Spanish. He passed away shortly after. The agents only tested the liquid after Cruz took several sips and began overdosing. The officers were never disciplined. Critics say Velazquez’s case is just the latest example of rampant abuse and mistreatment by border agents. We speak with John Carlos Frey, two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. His new investigation is titled "Life and Death at the Border." The project was conducted in partnership with ABC’s "20/20."

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