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News > Latin America

Mexican Rear Admiral Detained for Death of Migrants in Fire

  • Salvador Gonzalez

    Salvador Gonzalez | Photo: Twitter/ @columnadig

Published 17 April 2023

Security cameras showed that public officials fled when the fire broke out, leaving the detainees locked in their cells.

On Sunday, the Attorney General's Office (FGR) detained the Chihuahua state delegate of the National Institute of Migration (INM), Retired Rear Admiral Salvador Gonzalez, who faces charges due to the fire that occurred in a migration center in Ciudad Juarez on March 27.


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On the night of that fateful day, 28 people were injured during a fire in which 17 Guatemalans, 7 Venezuelans, 8 Salvadorans, 6 Hondurans and 1 Colombian died of suffocation.

On the morning after the tragedy, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) said the fire started when migrants set mattresses on fire to protest against their imminent deportation.

The images from the security cameras showed that the INM officials fled and left the detainees locked in their cells. Gonzalez and three other officials face charges for the crimes of illegal exercise of public service, injuries, and intentional homicide.

The tweet reads, "The bodies of Salvadorans who died in the fire at an immigration detention center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, have been repatriated to El Salvador."

Last week, a Ciudad Juarez judge also ordered preventive detention against three other INM officials, bringing the list of those involved in this fire to seven public servants.

The arrests were requested by the FGR Crime Investigation Unit for Migrants, which will also proceed criminally against INM Director Francisco Garduño and Immigration Control and Verification Director Antonio Molina.

Both officials must appear at an initial hearing on April 21 in which the prosecuting lawyers will establish before the judge the criminal charges that public officials must face.

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