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Migrants fearing deportation set fatal fire, Mexican president says

Officials confirmed more than three dozen people died in the fire.
Migrants fearing deportation set fatal fire, Mexican president says
Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-28 22:33:15-04

deadly fire tore through a detention center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just south of El Paso, Texas.

Video captured inside the facility shows a woman holding a toddler as panic spreads and smoke fills the air.

First responders and heavily armed military swarmed the scene. Officials transported victims in ambulances and laid out others on the ground in rows.

The National Immigration Institute says 68 men from Central and South America were being held at the detention center. It's unclear how many other migrants were in the facility.

Officials confirmed more than three dozen people died in the fire and at least 29 others are in "delicate-serious" condition.

The Guatemala foreign affairs minister says at least 28 migrants killed in the fire are Guatemalan citizens.

Mexico president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said migrants fearing deportation protested by igniting a fire.

Shelters in Ciudad Juarez are at capacity – crowded with migrants fleeing their country and seeking asylum in the U.S.

Executive director Marisa Limón Garza, with Las Americas, an immigration nonprofit in El Paso, Texas, says the deadly fire is a result of failed immigration polices and lack of access to migrant protection in the U.S.

Earlier this month, 30 migrant shelters and advocacy groups published an open letter and accused Mexican authorities of abuse and excessive force against migrants.

A couple of weeks ago, frustrations flared and hundreds of mostly Venezuelan migrants tried to force their way across an El Paso bridge, temporarily shutting down traffic flow and disrupting traffic at two other crossings. Migrants acted on false rumors that officials planned to open the border.

Immigration advocates say migrants are frustrated with the asylum process.

The fire is under investigation.

SEE MORE: Texas police: Migrants found 'suffocating' in train; 2 dead


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