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LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS

PRESS CONFERENCE

Immediate Release: Sept. 4th, 2018 Contact: Agustin Pinedo, 832-883-2510

LULAC—the largest and oldest Latino Organization in the US—has scheduled a press conference to
call attention to the brutal, cowardly, deadly and senseless beating of 3 Honduran inmates by
correction officers at the Big Spring Correctional Center.

News Conference:
Thursday, September 6th, 2018
11:00 am
Big Spring Correctional Center
1701 Apron Dr. Big Spring, TX 79720

Jose David Garache Munoz, a Honduran immigrant sentenced to 1 year in prison for unlawful entry,
was savagely beaten into unconsciousness by 3 correction officers—allegedly, lead by Warden, Bobby
Thompson. Jose and other inmates, state that approximately 4 correction officers went into Jose's cell
on the night of August 11th at around midnight. The guards handcuffed Jose and it is alleged the
Warden peppered sprayed his face. The 4 of them dragged Jose to an area not covered by video
cameras and proceeded to beat him savagely. Jose went into convulsions and lost consciousness.
Sources reported that 2 other Honduran inmates were also savagely beaten as they tried to intervene.
Although Jose is now conscious and badly beaten, little is know of the other 2 men, except that one
has died while in custody in “the Hole” as a result of the terrible beat-down. All that is known
about him is his first name was Sergio!

At the request of LULAC, the family has been allowed to visit Jose on two different occasions. The
family reported that while visiting Jose there have been attempts to intimidate them. The family
reported that the guards were giving them mean looks and laughing at them and at one of the visits one
of the brothers was yanked hard by a female officer as he went through check-in.

After speaking with his family about his beating, Jose was placed in the “hole” (a type of solitary
confinement). At the last visit on August 25th his brother reported that Jose was not doing well and
was having a hard time breathing. Jose informed his brother Darwin that he had requested to see a
doctor since he woke up from his coma over a week ago and to-date he has not been seen by a
medical doctor.

Jose's family is alarmed that Jose might not make it out alive. Jose has informed his family that he is
constantly taunted by guards that tell him, “Who knows when you will see a doctor, maybe today,
maybe tomorrow, or maybe never!” As reported by his family, Jose is gravely ill as a result of the beat-
down and in need of hospitalization.

On Friday, August 31st, Jose's family was notified, by a prison source, that Sergio the second man
that was beaten at the same time as Jose--died of the beating on Friday, August 31st while in “the
Hole”. At this time nothing is known of the 3rd man that was also beaten.

LULAC and the Hispanic Community are outraged that this private prison is acting above the law and
is assaulting and abusing Hispanic inmates at will. Letters from Jose as well as other inmates
document a pattern and practice of denying inmates necessities such as water for long periods of time
and of capricious punitive behavior for the slightest infraction that included taking away their coffee
and other possessions. There is even a documented attempt by a correction officer trying to initiate
sexual contact with Jose; when Jose rejected his advances--he was punished.

Jose as well as other inmates report that staff at the Big Spring Correction Center are quick to
arbitrarily and capriciously designate them as a Code 212 or a Code 203 which respectively labels them
as instigators in organizing a revolt or threatening another with bodily harm. Labeling allows the staff
to place inmates in the “Hole,” where they may be incarcerated for an indeterminate amount of time.

It is important to note that the DOJ in August 2016 announced the phasing out of privately-run
prisons. DOJ announced that privately-run prisons “compare poorly” to government-run institutions,
according to the Texas Tribune. As far back as 2014 the ACLU reported that medical care at the GEO
run Big Spring Center was insufficient and cited numerous case histories. The ACLU also noted at the
time the over-use of “solitary confinement” at the Big Spring Correctional center for small infractions
or infractions that do not exist at all. The order to close these facilities was subsequently withdrawn
by Attorney General Jeff Sessions upon the election of Donald Trump and his “Zero Tolerance”
immigration policy. It was also reported by the Center for American Progress that the GEO
Group contributed generously to the Trump campaign and inauguration.

Due to the continued rampant abuses at Big Spring Correction Center, LULAC is asking that Warden
Bobby Thompson—and other staff responsible for beating down inmates—be relieved-of-duty while a
complete investigation of this prison is conducted. Furthermore we ask that those involved in assaultive
behavior be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and we further recommend that this prison be
permanently closed—as recommended by the DOJ back in 2016—due to a history of abuse and failing
to protected the safety of inmates.

Finally LULAC asks that the two other men that were beaten be identified and their health status
or death be confirmed and their respective families be notified. LULAC believes that a prison
sentence should not turn into a death sentence for an inmate--who often his only crime was to
come to this country in search of the American Dream!

Sincerely Submitted,

Agustin (Augie) Pinedo


Texas LULAC Civil Rights Chair