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Guatemalan woman dies after seizure at ICE detention center

A Guatemalan woman died Monday at a hospital in Casa Grande after suffering a series of seizures at the Eloy Detention Center, authorities said. 

Raquel Calderon de Hildago, 36, was pronounced dead at 11:17 a.m. by hospital personnel at Banner Casa Grande Medical Center, said Yasmeen Pitts O'Keefe, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Pitts O'Keefe said that Calderon suffered a seizure at the holding facility for suspected illegal immigrants, and medical staff called paramedics and asked for an ambulance. As she was transported to the hospital about 16 miles from facility, Calderon continued to experience seizures. 

An autopsy will be conducted to determine Calderon's cause of death.  

Calderon was apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol near Robles Junction, near Three Points west of Tucson, on Nov. 23 and was transferred to ICE custody six days later. She was awaiting deportation back to Guatemala by U.S. authorities, said Pitts O'Keefe. 

ICE said that officials with Enforcement and Removal Operations had notified Guatemala consular officers of Calderon's death, who informed her family. 

The agency informed state health and local law enforcement agencies, as well as Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General and ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility, Pitts O'Keefe said. 

Calderon is the third person to die in ICE custody in fiscal year of 2017, said Pitts O'Keefe. 

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The year before, 10 people died in ICE custody nationwide, according to agency statistics. 

In July, human rights advocates released a report blaming the deaths of 18 immigrants held in detention by U.S. immigration authorities from 2012 to 2015 to "subpar care" health care. 

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

The logo of the Corrections Corporation of America hangs over the Eloy Detention Center, which the private prison company runs under contract with immigration authorities.