At least 38 people were killed Monday in a large fire at a Mexican Immigration Service detention center in Ciudad Juárez. Footage shared on Tuesday shows the alleged guards seeing the fire in the cell, but not releasing the migrants from their fate.
The fire broke out in the detention center around 9:30 p.m. (local time) on Monday. There would have been 68 migrants there at that time.
According to the Mexican newspaper the universal the men were arrested after nuisance complaints. After learning that they would be fired, some of them allegedly set fire to mattresses.
“They didn’t think the fire would cause this terrible tragedy,” said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Most of the victims come from Central America and Venezuela.
Unconfirmed footage of fleeing guards
Mexican authorities have yet to explain how the fire could have become one of the deadliest migrant tragedies in recent Mexican history.
A video was released on Tuesday showing how a fire broke out in one of the cells. As the room fills with smoke, three people in guard uniforms pass. Although the migrants desperately try to get out of the cell, they do not open the doors. At the end of the video, the whole room is filled with smoke.
Press Agency Reuters has not yet been able to verify the video, but Interior Minister Adán Augusto said the government has seen the footage.
The number of border crossings has increased sharply
Over the past few weeks, migration in the region has been under a magnifying glass. Mexican and American authorities are seeing more and more people trying to cross the border. This has already caused unrest in some places.
US President Joe Biden’s administration announced in January that it would expand former President Donald Trump’s legislation. This will facilitate the rapid deportation of Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian migrants who have crossed the border.
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