Mexican migration officials investigated in fire that killed 39 in Ciudad Juárez

By April 3, 2023

Mexico City, Mexico. Secretary of Public Security Rosa Icela Rodríguez said Wednesday that authorities were investigating eight suspects for their involvement in the fire that caused the death of 39 migrants in Ciudad Juárez, Northern Mexico. 

Although the official narrative so far for the incident has been that the fire was set by migrants detained in the facility in protest of their detention conditions, Rodriguez noted that investigations were also targeting public officials and security officers at the detention center.

Read More: Mexico’s president blames migrants for the fire that killed 39

Among the indicted are two federal agents, one state immigration agent, and five members of a private security company guarding the detention center. 

“We condemn the poor performance of public servants who did not adhere to the protocols of protection of life and civil protection protocols,” said Rodríguez. 

As of Thursday, Mexico’s prosecutor’s office has issued four arrest warrants. Rodríguez stated the remaining apprehension orders will be carried out on Friday.

The press conference follows outrage sparked after videos of the fire circulated on social media, showing migration and security officers leaving migrants locked inside the facility as the fire spread, which Rodríguez condemned. 

“Yes, it is outrageous, it is upsetting, and it is a feeling not only, I am going to say it, of impotence but also rage. That is why I started by saying that we are outraged because these are human lives. It is unforgivable,” she said. 

Mexican authorities have reported that, at the moment, there are 27 injured migrants being taken care of at three medical facilities in Ciudad Juarez, 16 of them are reported to be in grave condition. At the same time, nine are said to be in “delicate” condition. 

In addition, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry reached out to the governments of Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Venezuela to report on the tragedy in Ciudad Juarez and to support their consulates in assisting the victims and affected families from those countries.

The National Institute of Migration (INM) will be in charge of repatriating the bodies of the migrants to their respective families, as well as the medical expenses of the injured migrants. 

Despite the advances in the investigation shared by Rodriguez, the Public Prosecutor’s Office continues with the probe, where Rodriguez promised that no public official would be protected. 

“We conducted a serious and professional investigation to get to the truth of the case so that there is no impunity. The facts will not be hidden, nor will anyone be protected, and human rights violations are punished,” said Rofríguez.