In severe pain, Henry wrapped a towel around his torso and stood in the dark room panicking. Medical records confirm that Henry was taken to Broward Health North. A CT scan "revealed the foreign body in the rectal area," and doctors eventually pulled out a Sharpie pen. He was transported to a rape center in Fort Lauderdale.

Later, Henry was moved to Krome Detention Center, a notorious all-male facility on the edge of the Everglades in Miami-Dade County that, unlike BTC, houses hardened criminals. For his protection, Henry has been given his own room at the facility. But it is essentially solitary confinement and is taxing in new ways.

"No one was charged" for the rape, said BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella via email. "That case has been deemed 'pending inactive,' which essentially means it is closed unless the detective becomes aware of other information in the future."

The family of Samuel Resendiz-Lopez is fighting against his upcoming deportation.
Monica McGivern
The family of Samuel Resendiz-Lopez is fighting against his upcoming deportation.
Immigration activist Viridiana Martinez infiltrated the detention center, but was released after contacting news outlets about the conditions inside.
Monica McGivern
Immigration activist Viridiana Martinez infiltrated the detention center, but was released after contacting news outlets about the conditions inside.

Henry says BSO deputies questioned whether he plunged the Sharpie into his own rectum in a desperate attempt to get out of detention.

Henry's case isn't the first sexual assault involving BTC. In 2007, ICE agent Wilfredo Vazquez was transporting a mother of two who lived in the U.S. for 12 years to BTC. Along the way, Vazquez stopped at his home and raped the woman. He took a plea deal and was sentenced to a little more than seven years.

When Martinez infiltrated BTC that July evening, Marco Saavedra — a slight, soft-spoken, undocumented 22-year-old — was already inside. He had approached ICE officials at the West Palm Beach Border Patrol Station and said he was looking for a friend who had recently been detained. Saavedra played dumb, waved around his Mexican passport, and ended up detained.

Martinez and Saavedra collected stories of detainees and called their friends at the National Immigrant Youth Association, which then posted the stories on its website, along with a petition calling for an immediate review of each detainee's case. The group also helped families find reliable lawyers and handle the initial deluge of paperwork that comes with fighting deportation.

Martinez and Saavedra say they encountered more than a dozen DREAM Act-eligible youth who, under Obama's orders, shouldn't have been detained; more than 60 people with no criminal records or prior deportations; and several crime victims who should be eligible for U visas.

One female detainee, Norma Leticia Ramirez-Amaya, was returned to her cell on the same day she had emergency ovarian surgery and suffered horrible bleeding. Felipe Garcia, a Mexican living in Florida for 13 years, was pulled over and detained after dropping his wheelchair-bound son off at school. Luis Villanueva lived in the U.S. for ten years but was picked up while looking for work at the Home Depot and recently deported.

Having gathered up enough ammunition, Martinez and Saavedra launched a media blitz from within the detention facility. On August 1, about two weeks after getting detained, Martinez picked up a pay phone at BTC, called Amy Goodman of Democracy Now (a liberal media outlet), and did a live interview.

"Why were you willing to be arrested and deported to find out what was happening inside of this jail?" Goodman probed.

Martinez explained, "We were getting phones calls and email from family members of people who had been picked up and for months and months and months and months were being held here." Martinez said she was there to expose the cases of people "who don't have the spotlight and are not DREAMers... they're the people that are suffering in here in terrible conditions."

Interviews followed with Telemundo and Univision.

The morning after speaking with the Spanish-language networks, Martinez and Saavedra say they were summoned into an office where ICE officials surprised them by announcing that — voilà — they qualified for deferred action and would be released later that day. There was no mention of the media interviews.

Martinez says she asked, "What about all the other detainees? Why don't they have a private interview like this?" but the ICE officer replied that she wasn't at liberty to discuss other people's cases.

After a few hours and failed attempts at demanding the release of other detainees, Martinez says she was escorted into another office but heard a commotion in the hall and peered out the door to see a long line of detained men demanding to see Saavedra.

"The guards started freaking out," she recalls. "All hell had broken loose. Hundreds of freaking detainees were chanting 'Free at last, free at last' before switching to 'Marco, Marco, Marco,' " Martinez says.

The guards, radios squawking, forced the men into the courtyard and put the place on lockdown, she says. Martinez says she was hustled outside by a few guards to wait for her ride. Some detainees started a hunger strike soon after, she says.

Moore, the ICE official in charge of BTC, refused to comment on specifics and says only that Martinez didn't infiltrate the center; she violated immigration laws and was appropriately detained.

"We brought attention to this place," Martinez says. "But our mission is not yet accomplished. We want this place reviewed, and we want people who should be released to be released."

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My Voice Nation Help

I know one of these people and he isn't some innocent little construction worker. He "rents" out other Hispanics taking $3 + off each hour that each works and keeps it for hisself plus using fraudulent insurance he pays to "work under" ....nice long as noone gets hurt... And do u think paying someone to pass you through the driver license process and not check your immigration status is okay??? It is illegal. Period. When I ... A US Citizen do ANYTHING with the government agencies I have to prove who I am or I don't get what I screw the pity party...this jerk even balked at the US Gov showing Pics of his ankle bracelet on his Facebook ...take your tail home if you don't like it!!!!!!

frankd4 topcommenter

this reminds me of the judge who presided over juvenile court and detained kids unecessarily because the judge had a personal financial interest in the OVER populated juvenile detention center


well why should judges be thought of as any less greedy or egotistical or power-hungry than investment bankers or politicians and after all most judges are in fact lawyers who are notoriously self promoting and self interested regardless of conflicts


still the hispancis only need to look at how america treated the indigenous american indians to see what miscarriages of justice this country was founded on


the only conselation is most every immigrant population has suffered a similar fate


Never ceases to amaze me that most Americans think that PRIVATIZATION of this kind won't cost any taxpayer money, while, in actual fact, it costs us WAY more.

KennyPowersII topcommenter

The arrogance of lawbreakers never ceases to amaze me.


Mr/Mrs. robinked: The world is not a better place because of people like you, calling other humans Scum, not having any compassion. I only feel sorry for you.


it Never ceases to Amaze me that the Lame-stream media  thinks that it IS A-ok to constantly parade the 'plight' of ILLEGALS & their Lawbreaking activities & Theft But Ignore the Plight of Hardworking American's, Taxpayers that have Lost Jobs, services, Scholorships etc. Due to these same ILLEGAL, Scum.........!!!!---Guess it goes back to that ol' "Blame the Victim" mentality.....NOT the Perpetrator of the CRIME..........sheesh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!