More than 50 people, including family members and former detainees, rallied outside the gates of the Stewart Detention Center in rural Lumpkin, Georgia, in remembrance of Salvador Vargas on May 6.
The 61-year-old Mexican national died on April 6; Vargas was the 11th incarcerated immigrant to die while being held at the for-profit prison, owned and operated by CoreCivic.
A number of statements written by current detainees were read, which detailed the deplorable conditions and human rights violations in the prison. Stewart, which has a capacity to hold over 2,000 people, ranks among the most deadly and abusive immigrant detention prisons in the U.S.
Georgia Detention Watch, El Refugio and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, along with other groups, organized this action and a press conference at the Atlanta ICE headquarters on May 3 to demand: “Shut down Stewart now!”
— Report by Dianne Mathiowetz