CALEXICO, Calif. -
70-year-old Calexico homeless Gilbert Aguilar confirmed on Friday one of Brown Bag Coalition’s biggest fears.
Coalition Co-founder Norma Aguilar told KSWT, “He died of heat exhaustion.”
She said Ernesto Carpena, another homeless man, discovered Gilbert unresponsive and tried to help him.
“He told me that nobody was doing anything, so he went down to the port of entry and found a police officer and they called 911. They responded and they found him unconscious, vomiting and his body in extreme heat,” Aguilar said.
She added next of kin for him is known.
“I was the one who registered Gilbert. And Gilbert gave me his name, but he wouldn’t give me a next of kin. I asked him, well, even just a friend. And then he goes, that’ll be you,” Aguilar said.
Carpena said he’ll miss Gilbert and he fears for himself and the other homeless, as well, due to the intense heat during Imperial Valley’s summer.
“All of us are in danger because it’s very hot,” Carpena said.
Aguilar said just the past Wednesday they have warned city council that this might happen.
“I told them, these are inhumane conditions that these people are living in. We need to give them a place to be able to get out of the heat for some time,” Aguilar said.
On Wednesday evening, they plan to hold a vigil in honor of Gilbert at the parking lot of 3rd and Heber Street, the same place where he lost his life. They would like to see city officials there to pay their respects.
“We need to do something because we’re going to keep seeing people die,” Aguilar said.