Warrants issued to officials after fire kills almost 40 in Mexican migrant facility

Image taken from a video showing ambulances and rescue teams staffers outside an immigration center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. At least three dozen migrants have died in a fire at an immigration detention center in northern Mexico near the U.S. border, according to a newspaper report. Images from the scene showed…

Mexican officials say arrest warrants have been issued for six people in connection with the deadly fire that killed 39 migrants at a detention center in Mexico earlier this week.

The six facing warrants include three National Immigration Institute officials and two private security guards, as well as the migrant accused of starting the fire, according to Mexican federal prosecutor Sara Irene Herrerías. 

Five of those have already been arrested and are facing charges of homicide and causing injury, according to officials. Mexican security secretary Rosa Icela Rodríguez had said Wednesday that officials were investigating at least eight people for possible misconduct. 

The fire broke out on Monday night at a migrant facility in Ciudad Juarez — just across the Mexico-U.S. border from El Paso, Texas — where migrants from Central and South America were being held. 

Thirty-nine were killed and some 29 others were injured. Rodriguez said Thursday that 27 migrants are still in serious or critical condition at hospitals.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said migrants had set fire to their mattresses as part of a protest, sparking a broader blaze. Video showed guards leaving the scene of the fire without apparently attempting to let migrants out.

The private security firm contracted to work at the facility will face a fine and permit revocation, Rodriguez said, and federal agents are taking over security duties at the facility in the meantime. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tags Mexico migrants

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