Mexico's Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodriguez, and the Specialized Human Rights Prosecutor's Office announced that eight people have been identified as being allegedly responsible for the deaths of 39 people at a migrant center in Ciudad Juarez. Special prosecutor, Sara Herrerías, announced that arrest warrants will be issued for them, as well as for the immigrant who started the fire in the compound and ,who is "locatable."
The Secretary of Security emphasized that, following instructions from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, "the facts will not be hidden nor will anyone be protected. In this government, abuses and violations of human rights are punished. There are people responsible for this tragedy and "They will not go unpunished." Among those targeted are two federal agents, a state immigration agent and five officials from a private security company.
Como instruyó el Presidente @lopezobrador_, junto con la fiscal @FGRMexico Sara Irene Herrerías, informamos lo ocurrido en la Estación Migratoria de Cd. Juárez. No se ocultarán los hechos ni se protegerá a nadie. En este gobierno se castigan abusos y violaciones a DD.HH. pic.twitter.com/czAoGpB8o5
— Rosa Icela Rodríguez Velázquez (@rosaicela_) March 30, 2023
"Provisional accommodation and it was very small space"
Rodríguez and Herrerías updated the death and injury figures, with 39 dead and 27 injured. They also confirmed that the video that went viral on several networks showing the fire, and several inmates trying to escape the flames before the passivity of the guards came from the security cameras of the precinct. "It was provisional accommodation and it was very small space. It is part of the investigation on how many hours and how the migrants were treated. None of this will be hidden, it is part of the investigation to be carried out by the Prosecutor's Office," analyzed the Security Secretary when asked about the conditions in which the migrants were held in this detention center.
Shortly before the fire, the National Migration Institute (INM) reported that there were 68 migrants of different nationalities from Central and South America in the Ciudad Juarez Temporary Detention Center where the fire occurred. The majority were from Guatemala (28 citizens), followed by citizens from Honduras (13), Venezuela (13), El Salvador (12), Ecuador (1) and Colombia (1).
INM meeting with the Public Prosecutor's Office
In the investigation process to clarify the facts, the INM commissioner met with representatives of the Attorney General's Office. At the meeting, the head of the institute undertook to deliver all the documentary evidence available to them.
#Comunicado 📄 Comisionado del @INAMI_mx, @fgymexico, se reunió con el delegado de @Fiscalia_Chih, Ramón Ernesto Badillo Aguilar para esclarecer el incendio en instalaciones de Cd. Juárez. El titular del instituto ofreció entregar toda prueba documental.
— INM (@INAMI_mx) March 30, 2023
"They left the men locked up"
Although the National Migration Institute has not officially provided the causes of the fire, President AMLO, in a press conference, stated that it was set by a migrant in protest. "This had to do with a protest that they initiated from, we presume, that they learned that they were going to be deported. They mobilized and as a protest at the door of the shelter they put mattresses from the shelter and set them on fire and they did not imagine that this was going to cause this terrible misfortune," said the president.
Survivors of the tragedy strongly criticized Mexican authorities, corroborating the images that spread through social networks of migrants surrounded by flames while guards do not come to their aid or open the gates. In statements to CNN, the wife of one of the wounded Venezuelans denounced that "At 10 o'clock at night we started to see smoke coming out everywhere, everyone ran away, but they left the men locked up. Everyone was taken out of the area, but they left the men locked up. They never opened the door," said Infante, a Venezuelan national.