You are on page 1of 3

LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS

PRESS CONFERENCE

Immediate Release: Sept. 5 , 2018


th
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 correctional 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 correctional officers—
allegedly, lead by Warden Bobby Thompson. Jose and other inmates state that
approximately 4 correctional 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 pepper
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 known 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, operated by
the GEO group, 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 correctional 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 Correctional 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 Correctional 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 protect 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 are notified. LULAC
believes that a prison sentence should not turn into a death sentence for an inmate--who’s
often only crime was to come to this country in search of the American Dream!

Sincerely Submitted,

Agustin (Augie) Pinedo


Texas LULAC Civil Rights Chair