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A video reveals how the guards of a migrant center in Mexico left 40 people to die in a fire


It happened at facilities south of the Rio Grande, in Ciudad Juárez, across from El Paso, Texas, at one of the most frequented border crossings for asylum seekers in the United States.

A group of migrants

places mats against the bars

of their cell at a detention center in northern


and sets them on fire.

The guards see him and walk away without trying to free or help the men


Before long, smoke fills the entire room and the video from the surveillance camera

cuts out


In the early hours of this Tuesday it was learned that a raging fire

caused the death of at least 40 people

in an immigration detention center in

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico


Hours later, local media released a video in which it can be seen how the detainees remained locked in the cells

while the flames advanced


After the fire broke out Monday night, there were

rows of bodies

covered in foil blankets outside immigration facilities that sit on the south bank of the Rio Grande, across from El Paso, Texas, at

one of the busiest crossings. frequented


people trying to cross the border into the United States

 and asylum seekers.


29 migrants were injured

and were transferred "in

delicate or serious

condition to four local hospitals for immediate care," the National Institute of Migration (INM) said in a statement.

The moment when one of the security guards escapes without helping detainees at an immigration detention center in Mexico.

The fire started in a dormitory area

where 68 men were staying

, according to the INM.

The immigration agency

condemned the events

that caused the fire

but did not explain how

the emergency was dealt with or whether or not an attempt was made to evacuate the foreigners.

In the video,

two people in uniform run

into the camera frame and at least one migrant appears behind bars by the metal gate.

None of the agents go near the cells

to open them, instead

they flee while everything is filled with smoke


The Secretary of the Interior, Adán Augusto López, in an interview with the Mexican journalist Joaquín López Dóriga confirmed

the authenticity of the recording

and said that they had known him since Tuesday morning. 

The foreign minister of Guatemala, Mario Búcaro, confirmed that

28 of the deceased were Guatemalans

and said that he has the support of the Mexican authorities "to find out the truth" and "find those responsible."

Meanwhile, the

governments of Colombia and Ecuador

also confirmed the death of a person from each of those countries.

The Mexican prosecutor's office added that there were also

13 Hondurans and 12 Salvadorans in the damaged facilities, whose status he did not specify


One wounded man refused to be identified.

In the afternoon, the migration agency indicated that it had provided assistance to


adult migrant women who were evicted from the facilities.

Mexican President

Andrés Manuel López Obrador

said that it was an

unfortunate incident

and that the migrants, who apparently wanted to avoid their transfer or deportation, "did not imagine that this was going to cause this

terrible misfortune


The federal prosecutor's office already has

an investigation open

, the National Human Rights Commission, an official entity, is assisting the migrants, and the INM announced that those

affected will be given a humanitarian visa

, which guarantees them hospital care, and that it will cover the

funeral expenses

of the deceased.

In parallel,

work began to identify the deceased

with the consular authorities of various countries.

As the morgue in this violent city

was already at

capacity before the fire, the government had to

rent refrigerated trailers

to protect the bodies of the migrants, Chihuahua state prosecutor César Jáuregui told reporters.

Migrants in Ciudad Juárez: the voices of the victims

In a nearby hospital,

Viangly Infante Padrón, a 31-year-old Venezuelan

traveling with her three children, was waiting for her husband, who was treated for smoke inhalation.

The night before she was outside the detention center waiting for

her husband to be released

when the fire started.

There was smoke everywhere.

They let the women out and the immigration employees,” she explained.

“The men were never removed until the fire department arrived.”

She said

she saw several dead

before finding her husband in an ambulance.

She "She was desperate because

she saw a corpse, a body, a corpse

, and she didn't see it anywhere."

Shortly before, a hundred Venezuelan migrants gathered in the place demanding information from relatives and

asking for justice for what happened


"They don't want to attend to us... We want to know

if he is alive or dead

," lamented Katiuska Márquez, a 23-year-old Venezuelan with

two small children,

unable to understand how the guards at the center were alive and the migrants were not.

How could they not get them out?


was seeking news of a half-brother

, 26-year-old Orlando Mandonado, with whom he was traveling.

The family rented

a room where ten people lived

who paid with the money they got from begging on the street.

They were all arrested on Monday shortly after noon with about twenty people, including children.

“I was

at the traffic light with a cardboard

asking for what I needed for my children and people supported me with food,” explained the woman who has been in Ciudad Juárez for ten days waiting for an appointment to request asylum in the United States.

Suddenly, agents arrived.


Immigration grabbed me by the jacket

until they put me in a van with my brother and several other families."

According to what he said, everyone entered the facilities but the women and children were kept outside the cells and a few hours later they were released.

Increased number of migrants trying to reach the United States

Tensions between authorities and migrants escalated this month in Ciudad Juárez, where shelters are

full of people hoping to seek asylum in the United States


A little over two weeks ago, a group of mostly Venezuelans encouraged by false rumors that they could pass freely

tried to cross the border bridge

and was blocked by the US authorities.

After that, the mayor of Juárez, Cruz Pérez Cuellar, started a

campaign to inform

migrants that there was room in the shelters and that it

was not necessary for them to beg in the streets


In addition, he urged residents

not to give them money

and said authorities would remove them from intersections where begging was dangerous and reportedly a nuisance to residents.

Unlike Central Americans, who are detained for deportation, it is not usual for Mexico to repatriate Venezuelans, although it does move them to the central and southern states of the country.

The Red de Casas de Migrantes y Centros de Derechos Humanos in the north of Mexico, which had already denounced

the increase in joint operations

by immigration and municipal authorities and

arbitrary detentions

in the first days of March in a letter signed by more than 30 organizations humanitarian organizations, stated this Tuesday in a statement that the event "reflects

the absence of protocols for the protection of migrants

and asylum seekers."

They blamed the authorities for what happened due to the lack of action and indicated that it is a

"reduced and unventilated" space


there was no drinking water

or medical attention and people were incommunicado and uninformed.


It was seen coming

," they sentenced in the statement.

"Mexico's immigration policy kills".


United Nations

called for an exhaustive investigation of the events and Felipe González Morales, special rapporteur for the human rights of migrants, recalled that international law establishes that "migrant detention must be an exceptional measure and not a general one."

The facilities that the Mexican immigration authorities have throughout the country have repeatedly suffered both criticism for overcrowding and

protests and riots


The last ones took place at the end of 2022

in Tijuana

(in the north)

and Tapachula

(on the southern border).


has become

the world's third most popular destination for asylum seekers

, after the United States and Germany.

But it is still very much a

country of passage

to its neighbor to the north.

Tens of thousands are stranded in the south of the country or in the border cities of the north waiting for their processes to advance or for an opportunity to cross.

In a mass celebrated in memory of the migrants, Bishop José Guadalupe Torres Campos expressed his

weariness in the face of so much death

, the one generated by the daily violence and now it is against the migrants.

"The cry,

the cry of all is enough

," he said. "Enough of so much pain, enough of so much death."

With information from AP.


look too

Horror in Mexico: 40 people die in a fire in a migration center and López Obrador blames the migrants

Many immigrants leave after decades of illegal stay in the US.

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-03-29

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