Ciudad Juarez, Mexico:
A hearth began by migrants in an obvious protest in opposition to deportations killed a minimum of 39 individuals at a Mexican immigration detention middle close to the US border, authorities mentioned Tuesday.
The blaze broke out late Monday on the National Migration Institute (INM) facility in Ciudad Juarez, prompting the mobilization of firefighters and dozens of ambulances.
The migrants had been believed to have lit the fireplace as an illustration as a result of they feared they’d be deported, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador mentioned.
“They put mats at the door of the shelter and set them on fire as a protest, and did not imagine that it would cause this terrible tragedy,” he advised reporters.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi expressed solidarity with family of the victims, and appealed to international locations within the area “to deal in a humane, just, effective manner with growing population flows through the Americas.”
A Venezuelan lady who gave her identify as Viangly stood exterior the immigration middle, determined for details about her 27-year-old husband who had been detained there.
“They (immigration officials) don’t tell you anything. A family member can die and they don’t tell you he’s dead,” she mentioned, her voice cracking.
At least 39 immigrants had been killed and 29 had been injured, in keeping with the INM, which mentioned the middle housed 68 grownup males from Central and South America.
The useless and injured included individuals from Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador, Colombia and Ecuador, Mexican authorities mentioned.
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro advised reporters that 28 residents of his nation had been killed.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres known as for a “thorough investigation” into the fireplace.
He pledged “to continue working with the authorities of countries where mixed movements of people occur to establish safer, more regulated, and organized migration pathways,” a spokesman mentioned.
– Tougher border restrictions –
Ciudad Juarez, which neighbors El Paso, Texas, is without doubt one of the border cities the place quite a few undocumented migrants in search of refuge within the United States stay stranded.
Fed up with ready on the border, tons of of the migrants tried to storm a global bridge on March 13 however had been blocked by US brokers.
Numerous migrants had been detained in latest days on the detention middle that caught fireplace, after native authorities rounded up road distributors, a few of whom had been foreigners.
“Deteriorating conditions in migrant facilities along the border mean vulnerable asylum seekers are in unnecessary danger,” the International Rescue Committee humanitarian group mentioned.
“Stronger systems along Mexico’s migration corridors are critical to provide asylum seekers with the protection they need,” it added.
The US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, mentioned the tragedy was “a reminder to the governments of the region of the importance of fixing a broken migration system and the risks of irregular migration.”
President Joe Biden’s administration has been hoping to stem the document tide of migrants and asylum seekers enterprise typically harmful journeys organized by human smugglers to get to the United States.
Biden proposed new restrictions on asylum seekers in February, hoping to stifle the frenzy of migrants to the southern border when Covid-related controls are lifted.
The new guidelines say migrants who arrive on the border and easily cross into the United States will now not be eligible for asylum.
Instead, they need to first apply for asylum in one of many international locations they go by to get to the US border or apply on-line by way of a US authorities app.
About 200,000 individuals attempt to cross the border from Mexico into the United States every month.
Most are from Central and South America and cite poverty and violence again dwelling when requesting asylum.
According to the International Organization for Migration, greater than 7,600 migrants have died or disappeared in transit within the Americas since 2014.
Of these, round 4,400 individuals perished or went lacking on the US-Mexican border crossing route, in keeping with the UN company.
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