(CNN Spanish) — Mexico’s attorney general is investigating Monday night’s fire at the National Immigration Institute in Ciudad Juárez, according to updated figures. . Government, UN Condemns “the extensive use of immigration detention” in the country. This is the saddest thing ever.
Who was detained at the Ciudad Juárez Migration Center?
The National Institute of Migration (INM) reported on Tuesday that 68 migrants of different nationalities from Central and South America were detained in a temporary shelter in Ciudad Juarez, where the deadly fire broke out. The majority are from Guatemala (28 citizens), followed by Honduras (13), Venezuela (13), El Salvador (12), Ecuador (1), and Colombia (1).
Of that total, 38 migrants died and another 28 were injured, the agency said in a statement.
According to AMLO, the migrants protested because they would be “deported”.
Although the cause of the fire has not yet been revealed by INM, which said an investigation had already begun, Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, confirmed on Tuesday that the fire started after a migrant protest.
According to López Obrador, the migrants were angry with the authorities and protested against their deportation.
“This is related to a protest that they started, after knowing that they were going to be deported and mobilized, they put mattresses on fire in the shelter as a protest at the door of the shelter. And they did not imagine that I was going to cause that terrible misfortune,” said the Mexican president.
Video recorded outside the center shows first responders helping survivors, wrapping them in silver thermal blankets before placing them on stretchers and ambulances.
They are also seen removing inert or lifeless bodies from the building. Some of the bodies of the victims were wrapped in soot and laid out in a row.
INM said it strongly rejected “the events that led to this tragedy” and added that an investigation was ongoing. CNN reached out to Mexican immigration officials for comment on the fire.
Mexico’s National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH). He said “Initiated a thorough investigation into the events that took place and the conditions at the INM facilities where the incident took place and the protocols implemented during the emergency.”
Eyewitnesses say the doors were not opened
A video from a security camera at the center shows the moment the fire broke out. In the photos, some people can be seen behind bars trying to escape the flames.
Viangly Infante, a 31-year-old Venezuelan woman who witnessed the tragedy and whose husband was trapped inside the building and injured in the fire, spoke to Reuters about the tragedy. Fighting back tears, he blamed Mexican authorities and said the detention center’s doors had not been opened.
“Around 10pm we started seeing smoke coming from all sides and everyone ran away but they left the men locked up. They were all removed from the area, but the men were locked up. They never opened the door,” said Infante, who is from Venezuela.
Her husband, Edward Caraballo, 27, was inside the detention center and survived by dousing himself with water, as Infante said he saw several dead bodies. He was taken to hospital with respiratory problems, Reuters reported.
Another Venezuelan migrant, Emilio Jose, who was searching for his wife, told Reuters he had been given no information on her whereabouts. “Even though we’re illegal or undocumented, we’re human beings who feel. Look at what happened; some people are injured and suffering the consequences of what happened,” he said.
The United States is ready to receive injured immigrants
U.S. Customs and Border Protection will grant parole to people who need emergency medical treatment in the country after the immigration center fire, the agency said in a statement.
The agency is in contact with the El Paso Office of Emergency Management and is ready to process migrants injured in the fire, the statement said.
Mexico will issue visiting cards to injured migrants.
“The Immigration Commission will issue visitor cards to the injured for humanitarian reasons and to cover medical needs for a speedy recovery,” INM Commissioner Francisco Carduno said during a visit to local hospitals where migrants are being treated.
The fires have been among the worst in recent years in Mexico, which has seen record levels of irregular crossings along its northern border as people try to reach the United States.
The number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border has been on the rise since last year, with growing numbers from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Colombia, repressive governments and strong economic pressures.
Jose Perez, an immigrant from Venezuela, reacts during a vigil outside a Mexican immigration facility where at least 38 migrants died in a fire in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on March 28, 2023. (Credit: GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)
El Salvador condemns the actions of Ciudad Juarez immigration staff
President of El Salvador condemned in a statement Activities of personnel managing the immigration station of Ciudad Juárez during the fire. The statement also demanded that President Nayeb Bukele’s government conduct a thorough investigation and bring those responsible to justice.
UN on “Extensive Use of Immigration Detention”
Felipe González Morales, the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, condemned the “excessive migrant detention” after the incident in Mexico.
“The widespread use of immigration detention leads to such tragedies. Under international law immigration detention of adults must be an exceptional measure and not generalized,” he wrote.
In another tweet he sent to the message of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center: “Rarely or never do they acknowledge that they are in immigration detention, instead, detention in the form of accommodation, insurance, lodging and other styles but deprivation of liberty”.
A message from the Broth Center – as the organization is also known – said that “immigrants were deprived of their freedom by the authorities, so the state guarantees their lives”.
— With reporting from CNN’s Gerardo Lemos, Omar Astorga, Rey Rodríguez and Karol Suárez.