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Guards At Mexican Center Where 38 Died Didn't Allow Migrants To Leave

Surveillance footage from the immigration detention center in northern Mexico near the U.S. border where 38 migrants died in a dormitory fire appears to show guards walking away from the blaze and making no attempt to release detainees, reports USA Today. The fire broke out when migrants fearing deportation set mattresses ablaze Monday at the National Immigration Institute, a facility in Ciudad Juarez south of El Paso, Texas, said Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Twenty-eight people were injured and were in “delicate-serious” condition, according to the National Immigration Institute. The security footage shows at least two people dressed as guards rush into the frame, then run off as a cloud of smoke quickly filled the area. They did not appear to attempt to open cell doors so migrants could escape the fire.

Mexico's prosecutor general has launched an investigation. López Obrador said the fire was started by migrants in the facility after they learned they would be deported. "They never imagined that this would cause this terrible misfortune," López Obrador said. The immigration institute said it "energetically rejects the actions that led to this tragedy," without explanation. The video footage shows the area in the facility filled with smoke within seconds, obscuring the view of the camera. Two guards are seen rushing into the frame, then walking off as migrants remain behind bars. At least one migrant is seen kicking at a cell door while flames grow.


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