Ciudad Juárez Immigration Center Fire Claims 40 Lives

Mexico City – On Monday, the government reported that the number of deaths in a fire at an immigration detention center in Ciudad Juárez had risen to 40. The Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection indicated that one of the 28 injured individuals who left the incident died during an air transfer from Ciudad Juárez to the National Center for Investigation and Care of Burns located in the Mexican capital.

Most of the victims of the deadly fire were from Guatemala, Venezuela, Honduras, and El Salvador. Of the total number of injured, 23 remain hospitalized, the government said. Over the weekend, six injured individuals were airlifted to the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases and the National Center for Investigation and Care of Burns in Mexico City. The rest of the injured remain in different health centers in Ciudad Juárez.

The federal prosecutor’s office issued arrest warrants for six individuals who face charges of homicide and injuries. The prosecutor’s office is also investigating other people. Among those accused are three officials from the National Institute of Migration, two security guards from the detention center, and a migrant who is accused of starting the fire.

A security camera video from inside the facility showed guards walking out when the fire started in the cell where dozens of migrants were being held without making any attempt to free them. It is unknown if those guards had the keys to the cell.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ratified on Monday that there will be no impunity for those guilty of the incident that occurred on the night of March 27. When questioned about whether the head of the National Institute of Migration would be prosecuted for failing to comply with the presidential order not to hire private surveillance companies for the security of public facilities, López Obrador asked to wait for the progress of the investigations carried out by the Attorney General’s Office.

The security of the center where the fatal event occurred was provided by the private company Grupo de Seguridad Privada CAMSA.

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