The Associated Press reports, based on information from an anonymous Guatemalan health official, that 10 Guatemalans deported from the United States on a May 13 flight from Louisiana tested positive for COVID-19.

  • The 52 others on the flight will be tested for the coronavirus.
  • Deportees are sometimes tested days before they are put on a plane. It is possible that they tested negative in the US, then developed the disease once they arrived in Guatemala.
  • At least 115 infections of COVID are returnees from the US.

More than 1,900 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Guatemala and at least 35 have died from the disease, according to the World Health Organization.

Stigma

Many returnees faced stigma upon their return to Guatemala. The recent cases of returnees testing positive for COVID-19 has exacerbated an already difficult situation, according to Voice of America.

  • Guatemalans who return voluntarily are often seen as failures and those who were deported are perceived as criminals, according to a researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Guatemala. Only ten percent of immigrants in ICE detention have serious criminal convictions.