On Monday night, at least 39 migrants from Central and South America died after a fire broke out in a dormitory at a migrant holding center in Juarez City.
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About 29 out of 68 migrants who stayed at the facility were injured in the fire and taken to four hospitals. Currently, they are in critical health condition.
"I was here since 13:00 waiting for the father of my children. At around 22:00, the smoke started coming out from everywhere," said 31-year-old Viangly Infante.
Her 27-year-old husband Eduard Caraballo was in a holding cell when the fire started and survived by dousing himself in water and pressing against a door.
Hours after the fire broke out, rows of bodies laid out under shimmery silver sheets outside the facility. Ambulances, firefighters, and vans from the morgue swarmed the scene.
The origins of the fire are still under investigation. “We energetically reject the actions that led to this tragedy,” said the Mexican Human Rights Commission, which came to the center to assist the victims.
Juarez City is a frequent crossing point for migrants entering the United States. Its shelters are full of people who wait for opportunities to cross or have requested asylum in the U.S. and are waiting for their applications to be processed.
The Mexican government has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migration to the U.S. border as the National Migration Institute (INM) currently faces overcrowding in its facilities. The U.S. government, however, has not done much to counteract this situation.