Fort Bliss audio appears to reveal sexual abuse of migrant minors

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Fort Bliss audio appears to reveal sexual abuse of migrant minors

Leaked audio from inside a problem-plagued federal shelter for migrant children appears to confirm allegations that staffers have sexually abused minors in their custody.

“We have already caught staff with minors inappropriately,” a federal contractor said during a May training session for employees at the Fort Bliss, Texas, holding center, according to audio obtained by NBC News Saturday.

The trainer also alluded to sexual and violent interactions occurring among the facility’s young charges.

People protesting the detention of unaccompanied minors at Fort Bliss at a demonstration in El Paso, Texas on June 8, 2021.
People protesting the detention of unaccompanied minors at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

“We got teenagers in our shelter. What is happening with these kids when they are teenagers?” the trainer asks. “They’re raging out of control.”

The leaked audio came days after a pair of whistleblowers filed a report alleging that federal officials sought to hush up a severe COVID-19 outbreak at Fort Bliss facility, which has housed up to 5,000 young migrants at a time during this year’s record-breaking border surge.

People holding signs saying "Release Them" in Spanish at a protest against Fort Bliss in El Paso on June 8, 2021.
People holding signs saying “Release them” in Spanish at a protest against Fort Bliss in El Paso on June 8, 2021.
REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

In the May training session, the contractor instructed a group of holding center trainees to intervene if they see a staffer abusing a child — but did not tell them to report such behavior.

“If you catch them, especially if it’s a staff member, you separate that minor from that person immediately,” the trainer says.

“If you’re not the one who’s going to step in, who’s going to?”

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