Mexico to pay millions in compensation to families of fire victims

Mexico to pay millions in compensation to families of fire victims

Relatives of 40 migrants who died in detention center because of fire will be compensated by Mexico migration body

By Jorge Antonio Rocha

MEXICO CITY (AA) - The families of 40 migrants who died in a fire at a detention center in a Mexican border town in March are to receive compensation of about $8 million in total, according to the government.

The fire was allegedly started on March 27 by two Venezuelan migrants demonstrating against the poor conditions and mistreatment at the facility in Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city in the Rio Grande, just south of El Paso.

Videos from the night of the fire show migration officers and security guards leaving the building while the asylum seekers remained incarcerated. Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) said the officers lost the cell keys and did not abandon the migrants.

The fire was “a painful and regrettable event, but it also represents a crucial moment to advance in the processes that guarantee the rights and safeguarding of people in the context of mobility. And non-repetition,” Mexico’s migration body said in a statement Sunday.

Eight public officers from the INM are under investigation, including the head of the agency, Francisco Garduno Yanez, for their possible responsibility in the fire.

The victims’ families, mainly from Central and South America, will be compensated $205,000 each.

Mexico’s immigration authority said they would install emergency doors, remove bars and locks in all common areas and rooms of migrants as security procedures and to prevent further fatal fires.


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