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Mexico will request the arrest of officials, guards and a migrant who they suspect started the fire in Ciudad Juárez


"There is an obvious homicide," said Rosa Icela Rodríguez, head of the Secretariat for Citizen Security and Protection, reporting that "eight people probably responsible" for the fire that left 39 dead have been identified.

"There is an evident homicide"


The Secretary of Security of that country, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, said this Wednesday in Mexico City, referring to the fire that claimed the lives of 39 migrants in the detention center of the National Institute of Migration (INM) of Ciudad Juárez, located in the state of Chihuahua and next to the border with El Paso, Texas.

The official reported during a press conference that "eight people probably responsible for the events have been identified: two federal agents, a state immigration agent and five members of the private security company [that managed the center], who are already testifying ".

He reported that an arrest warrant will also apply to a migrant who "is indicated by the same migrants who testified" as a possible initiator of the fire.

The official did not give his name or nationality.

She also did not offer information about her health status. 

Relatives of Guatemalan migrants express pain after the loss they suffered from the fire

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The secretary indicated that

"the crimes for which the investigation file was initiated were homicide and damage to the property of others."

However, he added, "throughout the investigation we are going to see other crimes such as abuse of authority and mistreatment, but now they are only hypotheses."


did not identify the private company in charge of the facility

and did not confirm whether some of the officials who appear in a security video apparently abandoning the migrants to their fate during the fire are among the eight people who have now been taken statement.

The Secretary of Security of Mexico, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, in a photo from January 5, 2023.AP

The secretary also avoided revealing the nationality of the last migrant who died, which brought the death toll to 39 on Wednesday.

[“This fire is the result of the pressure cooker that Juárez has turned into on the immigration issue,” experts denounce]

For her part, Sara Irene Herrerías, head of the Human Rights Prosecutor's Office, specified that a hearing had been requested on Wednesday to request "arrest warrants for those responsible" for the tragedy, including "the person who started the fire, the public servants and the security guards.

We started with four arrest warrants

," he stressed.

"We are going to act with transparency," he said.

"We condemn the poor performance of public administrators."

AMLO will look for those responsible for the fire, while a crossover of accusations begins in his Government

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According to Rodríguez, the investigation seeks to answer why the civil protection protocols were not complied with.

He commented that there was no decision to save lives, but declined to say who or who had been responsible for not opening the bars of the cell where the migrants were detained.

"They were not able to open a gate

(...) It is part of this investigation to find out who did not allow these people to leave. Obviously there is a serious crime," she said.

He expanded that the Government of Mexico is providing support and hospital assistance to the injured and their families, and that it has contacted the foreign ministries of the countries where the migrants come from to coordinate the identification and transfer of the bodies.

The beginning of the investigations

Earlier on Wednesday, the Mexican authorities had announced the first advances in the investigation into the fire that occurred on Monday night.

The Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, informed on his account on the social network Twitter that "those directly responsible for the events" had been presented to "the Attorney General of the Republic, which is directing the investigations into the tragedy. He did not clarify However, in their message who was it or what they were accused of.

"They treated us like animals": friend of one of the victims of a fire in Ciudad Juárez

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The flames originated when a group of migrants who were detained that day on the streets of the border city set fire to mattresses, according to the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), upon "learning that they were going to be deported."

The migrants were locked in a men's wing of the detention center.

A security camera inside the facility recorded the start of the flames in a cell, and how the fire and smoke spread.

The recording shows some migrants trying to kick the lock on the cell gate, while two guards walk past them several times, apparently without helping them.

The performance of the guards is one of the first lines of investigation in the case, which seeks to determine if there was negligence.

[Why were the migrants detained in the burning center in Ciudad Juárez and other questions to understand the tragedy]

Survivors of the fire criticized the behavior of the guards and claimed that they abandoned them.

"There, inside immigration, there was not even a fire extinguisher, who had the key [to open the lock on the cell], when he saw the fire he fled," a man, who did not want to identify himself, told Diario de Juárez.

AMLO promised on Wednesday, in his morning press conference: "We are not going to hide anything and there will be no impunity."

He further revealed that at the INM center "there were migration officials, but [there was] also a private contract with a security company."

The victims of the fire in the immigration center were locked up with a padlock

March 29, 202300:38

A total of 66 men were in the center when the flames broke out, according to a new balance: 38 died, 17 are in serious condition, nine are delicate and two are stable.

Mexican authorities identified all the victims, including 28 Guatemalans, 13 Hondurans, 12 Venezuelans, 12 Salvadorans and one Colombian.

The youngest deceased was 18 years old and his name was Marco Antonio Lucas Paiz;

the oldest was Bacilio Sutuj Saravia, 51 years old.

Both were Guatemalan.

Ebrard pointed out on Twitter that the countries where the victims came from had already been contacted to "support their consulates to help affected victims and families."

The Government of Mexico published the identity and nationality of the victims of the fire in a detention center in Ciudad Juárez, as of March 28, 2023. Noticias Telemundo

The relatives of those affected demand justice and to know what has happened to their loved ones, since many still do not know if they died in the fire.

"We really ask for justice," Katiuka Márquez, who was desperately seeking information about her partner, told Telemundo News.

"We are tired, tired of this situation. We don't know if he is alive or dead," she said, anguish reflected on her face.

Engelbert Sánchez Silva was waiting at the doors of the center in search of information about a friend who was trapped by the flames.

"We are not criminals," says a survivor of the fire in the Ciudad Juárez detention center

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"They haven't told us anything. We don't know what happened to him," he told Telemundo News.

"He was here since the day before yesterday and no authority has turned here to give us any type of information. His family in Venezuela is destroyed, they are totally desperate. We don't know what to do," he said.

Sánchez said that he himself was detained for four days in this same center last week and denounced the "overcrowding" and "abuse" that migrants experience in the INM facilities.

"In the best style of Venezuelan prisons," he lamented.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-30

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