Juan Coronilla-Guerrero's wife told a federal judge that her husband would be murdered if he was forced to return to Mexico, the birthplace he'd fled because of gang violence. And he was—perhaps by the very people he'd hoped to evade. Deported three months ago after federal agents took him into custody for entering the country illegally, Coronilla-Guerrero was found dead of gunshot wounds on the side of a road in San Luis de la Paz in Mexico's Guanajuato state on Sept. 13, reports the Austin American-Statesman. According to Coronilla-Guerrero's wife, four suspected gang members had entered her family's home the night before, pulled the 28-year-old from the bed he was sharing with his son, and led him away with a gun to his head.
"I knew that if he came back here, they were going to kill him, and look, that's what happened," she says from Mexico, where she herself has now returned (she says she didn't have the funds or paperwork to return to the US after his funeral). First deported in 2008, Coronilla-Guerrero had been at an Austin, Texas, courthouse to face misdemeanor charges of family violence and marijuana possession when he was taken into custody in March in a move heavily criticized by a City Council member as likely to strike fear in immigrant victims, defendants, and witnesses, per the Fresno Bee. Coronilla-Guerrero's wife, who says her husband's family violence charge was a misunderstanding, notes her pleas that he would become a victim of gang violence were ignored. ThinkProgress mentions seven other cases in which people deported from the US were later murdered, including five children. (Read more deportation stories.)