At least 40 migrants dead in Mexico detention center fire

Authorities announced on Tuesday that a fire, started by migrants in what appears to have been a protest against deportations, has resulted in the deaths of at least 40 people at a Mexican immigration detention center located near the US border.

The incident occurred on Monday night at the National Migration Institute (INM) facility in Ciudad Juarez, prompting the response of firefighters and dozens of ambulances. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has stated that the migrants are believed to have started the fire as a demonstration due to their concerns about deportation. The incident has led to calls for justice.

“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 told reporters.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi expressed solidarity with relatives of the victims and appealed to countries in the region “to deal in a humane, just, effective manner with growing population flows through the Americas.”

Anger grew outside the detention facility, with relatives chanting demands for justice near a makeshift shrine dedicated to the victims.

“Every migrant has the right to be safe, to be protected,” said Fran Martin Perez, from Venezuela.

“Because we’re not criminals,” he added.

Amnesty International said the fire was “a consequence of the restrictive and cruel immigration policies” of Mexico and the United States.

“These devastating events lay bare a truly inhumane system of immigration enforcement. How is it possible that the Mexican authorities left human beings locked up with no way to escape the fire?” said the rights group’s Americas director, Erika Guevara-Rosas.

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