Catastrophe Strikes: 39 Fatalities and Countless Injured

A calamitous blaze erupted at a migrant center situated near the U.S.-Mexico border, snuffing out at least 39 lives and leaving many wounded. On Tuesday, officials disclosed the harrowing news. The inferno is believed to have been ignited by migrants setting mattresses alight at the center’s entrance, protesting potential deportations.

Mexico’s President Speaks Out on Heartbreaking Incident

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador broached the subject, insinuating that the fire was a demonstration of dissent by migrants facing deportation. At the National Migration Institute-run facility in Ciudad Juárez, the conflagration erupted on Monday night. The institute did not divulge the exact cause, but vehemently denounced the events culminating in this catastrophe.

Critical Condition: The Injured Migrants’ Plight

A staggering 29 individuals, gravely injured, were dispatched to four separate hospitals. The center sheltered 68 men hailing from Central and South America, predominantly Venezuela. The victims’ identities and nationalities remain undisclosed; however, the Guatemalan General Directorate of Migration verified that 28 Guatemalans were among the deceased. Consular teams have been mobilized to identify the fallen.

Eyewitness Accounts and a Glimpse into the Facility

Viangly Infante, a Venezuelan migrant, recounted the harrowing events while searching for her husband, who miraculously escaped the blaze by drenching himself in water and pressing against a door. Images captured at the scene exposed bodies shrouded in silver sheets, with rescue crews, firefighters, and police officers responding.

The facility, nestled in Chihuahua state, lies in proximity to the Santa Fe International Bridge and El Paso, Texas. According to Fernando García, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, such centers serve as processing hubs and temporary shelters for migrants in transit, rather than detention centers.

Overcrowding: A Pervasive Issue in Migrant Centers

Ciudad Juárez, a prominent crossing point for migrants aspiring to enter the United States, is home to shelters brimming with individuals awaiting passage or navigating the asylum process. Overcrowding plagues National Immigration Institute-managed facilities, exacerbated as Mexico intensifies efforts to stem migration to the U.S. border.