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Concerns Raised Over Gay Detainee's Mental Health

Concerns Raised Over Gay Detainee's Mental Health


Friends and relatives of an undocumented immigrant who fled antigay violence in Peru fear he is not receiving proper treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Relatives and supporters of an undocumented gay Peruvian immigrant being held in a U.S. detention center are worried that he is not receiving proper treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder, which stems from violence he suffered in Peru.

Luis Armando Mendoza Sanchez has been in a Louisiana detention center under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody since February, the Washington Blade reports. Sanchez originally fled Peru because of antigay discrimination and violence he endured.

Initially arrested near Penitas, Texas, Mendoza is now at the Oakdale Federal Detention Center in Louisiana while ICE reviews his case for asylum. He told an aunt who lives in Washington, D.C., that he feared being raped by fellow inmates. She contacted transgender activist Ruby Corado, who wrote to ICE with concerns about Mendoza's state of mind.

"I have some serious concerns on the severe mental health consequences that result from the long terms of incarceration that many LGBT people experience while in custody of ICE," she wrote in an email to Melissa Jaramillo of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, released to the Blade. "Many of these detainees are people who have suffered severe trauma and incarceration in their home countries and have or are dealing with issues of sexual abuse and rape or the post-traumatic stresses after they were victims or a violent crime."

An ICE spokesman, however, says a mental health screening indicated that Mendoza is fine. Read more here.

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