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Cameroonian Man Dies in San Diego Immigration Detention Center

Nebane Abienwi had been in ICE custody for just under two weeks before he died on October 1st.

There have been so many horror stories from the US's southern border lately and it seems to only be getting worse. Earlier this week, a Cameroonian man died in the custody of US Immigraton and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 37-years-old, Nebane Abienwi first entered the US on September 5th at the San Ysidro port of entry. Upon entry, Abienwi did not have the proper papers and was transferred to ICE detention center Otay Mesa in San Diego on September 19th. He was pronounced dead on October 1st.


The Huffington Post reports that Abienwi was underwent a spike in blood pressure that could result in a stroke–called a "hypertensive event"–during the night on September 25th. He was sent to Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center in the morning. Buzzfeed news reports that doctors deemed him unresponsive to questions and seemingly paralyzed on his left side, so they began treatment. He was kept at the hospital until he died on Tuesday. His cause of death is cited in the ICE news release as "brain death secondary to a basal ganglia hemorrhage." The news release also states that Abienwi's next kin and the Cameroonian Consulate General have been notified.

Buzzfeed reports that this is the first death in ICE custody in the 2020 fiscal year, which began on Tuesday. There were eight deaths total last year with the most recent occurring on September 10th, as per the LA Times.

News of the death came on the same day it was announced that the Trump administration is planning to take DNA samples of detained immigrants who arrive without documentation, as Abienwi did. The plan is controversial as opposers believe the government should not be able to procure such information from people who have not committed any crimes. Buzzfeed reports that White House officials say the DNA could be used in a database to help immigration offices discover previous criminal acts of potential immigrants. Civil liberties groups, however, feel that it is a violation of personal privacy and an overstep by the government. It is not yet certain when the collections will be formally announced, after that they will pend a 60-day public comment period.

Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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