Six arrest warrants have been issued in connection with a deadly fire at a government-run immigration detention center in Mexico that killed 39 men and injured 28 others this week, authorities said late Thursday.
The arrest warrants were issued against three officials from the National Migration Institute, the agency that runs the detention center that caught fire, two security guards working with a private company the agency hired to work at the center, and the person who It is believed that he started the fire, Sara. Irene Herrerías, a lawyer with the attorney general’s office, which is leading the investigation, said in a Press conference.
Herrerías said that five of them have been arrested and are being prosecuted and prosecuted on the charges of “intentional homicide”.
The Secretary of Public Security, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, who accompanied Herrerías at the press conference, said that her office is collaborating in the investigation by the country’s authorities. attorney general.
The security guards who were in the detention center at the time of the fire at a private company that Rodríguez identified as Grupo de Seguridad Privada Camsa. The National Migration Institute contracted the company in 2019 to provide 503 security agents at facilities in 23 Mexican states, Rodríguez said. But it had a security staff of less than 15 people, he added. He also lacked permits for his staff to carry firearms.
Rodríguez said a request has been filed to revoke the company’s government contract. The company will also be fined, he said, without disclosing the amount.
Mexico’s Federal Protection Service will assume responsibility for the company in Ciudad Juárez, Rodríguez said.
The fire, which started Monday night at the Ciudad Juárez Provisional Farm, opposite El Paso, Texas, is one of the Deadliest Immigration Tragedies near the US-Mexico border in recent years.
Herrerías said on Wednesday that migrants in the center had piled up some small mattresses, protesting «for some inconvenience.» Some eyewitnesses said a small group of migrants at the center were upset about possible deportations and set the mattresses on fire, he said.
A 30 second video from inside the center posted on Facebook by Rescue Team Cd Juárez, a local group that helps in emergency events, shows the fire when someone behind bars begins to kick the lock in an attempt to open it. Two guards stand in front of the closed door, pacing back and forth, until black smoke covers the entire room.
Herrerías said Wednesday that the investigation shows that immigration and security officers at the center took “no action to open the door for the migrants who were already inside with the fire.”
TO complaint was also filed with investigators from the attorney general’s office accusing the state’s top immigration official of knowing about the fire but ordering the migrants not be released.
Information about the detention center’s emergency protocols has been requested as part of the investigation, Rodríguez said. Authorities are also investigating the conditions in which the migrants were detained, he added.
Associated Press contributed.