Head of Mexico's National Institute of Migration faces criminal charges for deadly Juárez fire
Government officials in Mexico faced criminal charges in connection with a fire last month that killed at least 40 migrants at an immigrant detention center in the Mexican border city of Juárez.
Mexico's attorney general said in a statement that it launched criminal proceedings against Francisco Garduño, the head of Mexico's National Migration Institute, and four other officials.
Garduño led Mexico’s prison system before leading its agency in charge of immigration. He has faced scrutiny from human rights groups for what they call systemic issues with the agency.
Five lower level guards and a Venezuelan migrant already faced homicide charges related to the fire.
Garduño and another high-ranking official failed to "watch over, protect and ensure safety for the people and facilities in their charge," according to the statement.
Video obtained by @TPRNews @NPR appears to show guards at an immigration detention center in Juarez walking away from the deadly fire that killed at least 39 people. pic.twitter.com/VbHfWryPIn— Texas Public Radio (@TPRNews) March 28, 2023
Video reviewed by TPR showed guards at the facility walking away as the fire raged.
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the guards didn’t have the keys to the cells.
The statement also alleged officials showed a "pattern of irresponsibility," and they pointed to a similar fire at migrant facility in Tenosique, Tabasco, in 2020, where one person died an 14 were injured.
It is unclear what criminal charges are being pursued against the officials.
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