Wrongfully deported man ate from trash cans, bathed in rivers

Pedro Guzman and MotherFrom the Associated Press
August 8, 2007

Photo by: Reed Saxon, AP

U.S. citizen sent to Mexico after trespassing arrest in May.

LOS ANGELES A wrongly deported U.S. citizen who was missing nearly three months in Mexico ate out of garbage cans, bathed in rivers and was repeatedly turned away by U.S. border agents when he tried to return to California, his family said Tuesday.

Pedro Guzman, 29, was picked up at the Calexico border crossing over the weekend and released to his family on Tuesday.

Guzman was shaking, stuttering and appeared traumatized, his family said at a news conference. The family said it planned to seek medical attention for Guzman, who was not at the news conference.

“They took him whole, but only returned half of him to me,” his mother, Maria Carbajal, said in Spanish while crying. “The government is responsible for this.”

The family had been searching for Guzman in Tijuana since he was deported May 11.

They said Guzman told them Tuesday that he had tried to return to the United States several times, but was turned away. He walked over 100 miles to Calexico, the family said.

“The border guards told him to ‘stop playing around,’ said Michael Guzman, the man’s brother.

Authorities and the family have presented conflicting versions of how Guzman was deported.  Read More