No evidence of sterilization of migrant Mexican women, says foreign minister

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard delivers a message to the media after taking on the Pro Tempore Presidency (PTP) of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in Mexico City, Mexico, January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Thursday that the government has not yet found any proof of forced sterilization of Mexican women being held in migrant detention facilities in the United States.

The comments came after U.S. immigration officials earlier this month said a federal watchdog would investigate complaints made by a whistleblower nurse in a Georgia immigration detention facility who alleged detainees had improperly received hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures.

Ebrard told reporters that 20 of 24 female Mexican nationals being held at detention centers in the U.S. states of Georgia and Texas had been interviewed and none of then had been subjected to such procedures.

He added, however, that an investigation was ongoing as more women still needed to be interviewed.

Earlier this week, Mexican officials said they were interviewing at least six women who may have been subject to improper medical procedures, including hysterectomies - the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus.

Ebrard at the time described such potential abuse as “unacceptable” and said that if the procedures were confirmed, measures would have to be taken, without giving details.

Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Christopher Cushing