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As guards refused to let migrants out, a fire in Mexico left 38 people dead

By 03/29/2023 3:29 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

Viangly Infante Padrón, a Venezuelan immigrant, was horrified when smoke started to billow out of a holding facility for migrants in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez since she knew her husband was still there.

In a recent crackdown that captured 67 other migrants, many of whom were begging for money or washing windows at stoplights in this city across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, immigration officers had already picked up the father of her three children earlier in the day.

Once the fire broke out late on Monday, Infante Padrón recalled seeing immigration agents rush out of the building in shock and horror.

Afterward, the bodies of the migrants, wrapped in foil blankets, were transported on stretchers. There were 38 fatalities and 28 severe injuries from the fire, which the detainees may have started in protest.

Infante Padrón spoke about her husband, Eduard Caraballo López, who ultimately escaped with only minor wounds, possibly because he was due for release and was close to a door.

She told him, “I was desperate because I saw a dead body, a body, a body, and I didn’t see him anywhere.”

Yet, what she witnessed in those first few minutes has become the focus of a significant concern plaguing much of Mexico: Why didn’t authorities try to free the guys, who were almost all from Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, and El Salvador, before smoke filled the room and claimed so many lives?

“Everywhere was filled with smoke. Women and immigrant workers were among those who were released, according to Infante Padrón. Up until the arrival of the firefighters, the men never removed them.

Infante Padrón claimed that “they alone had the key.” “Regardless of whether there were captives, if they would flee, and regardless of everything else, it was their duty to open the bar doors and save their lives. Their lives need to be kept.

After the fire started, immigration authorities reportedly released 15 women but have not stated why no men were released.
After his general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis prayed for those who lost their lives in the “tragic fire.”

In a surveillance video published on Tuesday, migrants can be seen lighting fire to foam mattresses that they had propped up against the bars of their holding cell, perhaps out of concern that they were about to be transported.

Two guard impersonators run into the camera frame in the footage, which the authorities later validated, and at least one migrant can be seen by the metal gate on the other side.

But, the guards don’t seem to try to open the cell doors; instead, they run away as the building quickly fills with billowing clouds of smoke.

What degree of humanity do we possess? What human beings have we created? Bishop Mons roared, “Death, death, death.”

During a Mass in honor of the migrants, José Guadalupe Torres Campos was present.

The facility’s operator, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute, declared it was assisting with the probe.

Several of the deaths, according to Guatemala, were its residents, but complete cadaver identification and injured remain incomplete.



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