Mexican Detention Center Fire Kills 38 As Guards Abandon Migrants Without Release
Mexican detention center fire kills 38 as guards abandon migrants without release. Newly released footage shows guards at a Mexican detention center racing away from a massive fire that killed 38 migrants without attempting to free those trapped behind locked gates.
The tragic incident occurred at the National Institute of Migration (INM) in Ciudad Juárez. Surveillance footage obtained by Noticias 26 Univision El Paso captured the moment the guards quickly fled the scene as the flames built up, leaving the trapped migrants behind.
Shocking Footage: Watch How Fire Engulfs Mexico’s Migrant Detention Center
At least 38 of the 68 migrants trapped inside the holding cell were killed, while 28 were injured and in “delicate-serious” condition.
The migrants were from Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, and El Salvador, and were protesting their impending deportation by setting their own mattresses on fire.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed his sorrow, saying: “They never imagined that this would cause this terrible misfortune.” The bodies of the deceased were laid out in rows outside the city’s immigration detention facility.
One survivor, Viangly Infante Padrón, was waiting for her husband to be released when the blaze erupted. She witnessed the guards letting out women and employees with immigration, but not the men trapped in the cell. Padrón’s husband survived by dousing himself in water and pressing against a door.
Another survivor, Katiuska Márqudez, a 23-year-old Venezuelan woman with two children under age 5, was unsure whether her half-brother survived the inferno. She questioned how the guards could leave nearly 70 migrants to suffer the flames: “How could they not get them out?”
The Mexican government has vowed to launch a full investigation into the tragedy, and the United Nations has called for an urgent review of the country's migrant detention policies.
As the world mourns the loss of these innocent lives, it serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address the plight of migrants and refugees worldwide.
As UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated, “We need safe, orderly, and regular migration, and we need to ensure that people are treated with dignity, respect, and compassion at all times, and in all circumstances.”
The tragic incident at the Mexican detention center highlights the urgent need for better protection of migrant and refugee rights.
The Mexican government's investigation into the tragedy, as well as the United Nations' call for an urgent review of migrant detention policies, demonstrate the necessity for international cooperation and action to ensure the safety and dignity of all people, regardless of their status or circumstances.
May the memory of the 38 migrants who lost their lives serve as a reminder to prioritize the protection of human rights for all.