For a fire that claimed 40 lives in a Mexican detention center near the US border, the head of Mexico’s immigration agency faces criminal charges.
Federal Attorney General’s Office stated that Francisco Garduno, head of the National Immigration Institute, was criminally negligent in failing to prevent the fire. This is despite previous incidents which showed the need for corrections at the country’s migrant-detention centres.
Prosecutors claimed the case was a “pattern for irresponsibility.” Their statement came just hours after Mexico’s President stated that two of the guards who fled when the fire broke out had not been given keys to their cell doors.
The statement stated that several other agency officers will face charges for not performing their duties. However, prosecutors didn’t specify the specific charges or the identities of the officials.
A migrant set fire to foam mattresses to protest what he believed were plans to deport or move migrants at Ciudad Juarez.
Video from the security camera shows guards leaving the facility when the fire in the cell housing migrants is lit.
As smoke fills the facility, guards can be seen running away and do not seem to want to free migrants.
Additional 11 Guatemalans were also injured by the fire.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated that the door was shut because the key holder wasn’t there.
It was not clear what impact the comments of the president might have on the trial for the guards who had been detained over the fire.
In connection to the fire, three Mexican immigration officials, a guard, and a Venezuelan immigrant were taken into custody. They are facing homicide charges.
To protest his alleged plans to deport or move migrants, the migrant set fire to the foam mattresses in the detention center.
31 bodies have been returned so far to El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
Prosecutors claimed that one person was killed and 14 others were injured in a fire at a Tabasco detention center. The immigration agency had known there were problems but failed to correct them.
For comment, Mr Garduno couldn’t be reached immediately.