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Mexico: Director of Migration ordered not to open chamber where migrants were burned

According to the complaint, the head of the National Immigration Institute (INM) in Chihuahua “ordered by telephone that migrants staying within the area of ​​the fire should not open their doors for any reason.” .

PA | The video shows the guards leaving the smoky room and making no attempt to free the detained migrants.

A lawyer filed a complaint with the federal prosecutor’s office in which the head of the immigration agency in Chihuahua state was ordered not to open a room at the Ciudad Juarez detention center where a fire broke out and killed 39 migrants. .

The complaint, seen by The Associated Press, was filed by attorney Jorge Vasquez Campbell on behalf of the clients, who he did not want to identify to protect their safety.

Mexican authorities announced that eight workers at the migrant detention center, including three officers, were under investigation and several arrest warrants were being prepared, including for the migrant who set the fire in protest.

A video shows guards leaving the smoky room without making any attempt to free the detained migrants.

According to the complaint, Retired Rear Admiral Salvador González Guerrero, head of the National Institute of Immigration (INM) in Chihuahua, “gave the order through a telephone call, so that the door was opened to the migrants staying inside the area where the fire occurred, without any reason.”

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador insisted on Thursday that there would be no impunity. “I spoke to the lawyer that there should be no consideration other than to deliver justice and that they should act professionally and with complete independence… there should be justice.”

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On Wednesday, Sara Irene Herrerias, the lawyer prosecuting the case, pointed out that the eight workers on trial had already come forward to testify, but the head of the INM in Chihuahua had not made any statement.

Five of those questioned were private security guards, but there were also two federal immigration agents and an official from the state of Chihuahua.

According to prosecutor Vasquez Campbell, his clients told him that one immigrant “asked for a cigarette and a lighter and they started protesting.” The lawyer said that five people participated in the protest and were arrested that day. “The authorities mocked them, they got angry and two of them (migrants) set fire to a mattress.”

It was at that point, according to the prosecutor, that immigration agents notified Gonzalez Guerrero, “that the person was not to do anything and that they would not be allowed to leave for any reason.”

The National Migration Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment or an interview with a representative in Chihuahua.

The deaths in the center of Chihuahua are linked to a massive march of hundreds of migrants heading to the border crossing with the United States with the intention of allowing US authorities to enter their territory.

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