Originally published by CNN
Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez traveled 1,500 miles to the United States, hoping to find a job and a better future. Shortly after she set foot in Texas, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed her.
Gomez Gonzalez earned a degree in accounting two years ago, but had not been able to find a job.
“She looked, looked and nothing,” her father, Gilberto Gomez, said. “I believe that’s the reason why she decided to pursue the ‘American dream’.”
The lack of job opportunities frustrated her, and she decided to leave her home and head to the US to find work. She was following the footsteps of her boyfriend, who made the same journey about a year before.
The 20-year-old had been traveling for over two weeks with other migrants when they were met by a Border Patrol agent in a residential area in the town of Rio Bravo, Texas.
The agent — a 15-year veteran — fired one round from his service-issued firearm, fatally wounding Gomez Gonzalez, the United States Customs and Border Protection said. The agent, who has not been identified, remains on administrative leave.
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“My girl did not go there to steal, my girl left to move forward and go to school,” she said.
Her family held a news conference in Guatemala on Friday and asked for justice.
“It’s not the first time someone dies in that country (United States),” her aunt, Dominga Vicente, told reporters. “There are many people who have been treated like animals and that isn’t what we should do as people.”
Representatives with Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs met with some of her relatives Friday to discuss the repatriation of her remains.
“Guatemala condemns violent acts and any other use of excessive force by the Border Patrol. We urge authorities to respect the rights of our citizens, especially their right to live, regardless of their immigration status,” the ministry said in a statement.
Officials change story
‘No reason to shoot a girl like that’