Emergency and rescue team members arrive after a fire broke out at the National Institute of Migration of Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico on 28 March 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/Luis Torres

Judge opens trial of 5 people for migrant facility fire deaths in Mexico

Mexico City, Apr 4 (EFE).- A supervisory judge ruled Tuesday to open a trial for the crimes of homicide and injuries against three immigration agents, a private security guard and a migrant, for the death of 40 migrants on Mar. 27 due to a fire at a detention center in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, in northern Mexico.

Mexico’s attorney general’s office, the institution in charge of the investigations of the case, said in a statement that a trial began at a hearing before the federal supervisory judge in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, against the five people charged by the agency and for whom the corresponding arrest warrants had been obtained.

The trial is “for the crimes of homicide and injuries, both willful, as material authors due to commission by omission” against immigration agents, Daniel “N”, Rodolfo “N”, Gloria “N” and the private security guard Alan “N”, who “remain subject to criminal proceedings in the next complementary stage,” the agency said.

It added that Jaison “N” was linked as the “material author by action, of the crimes of willful homicide and injuries.”

Mexican media identified the immigration agents as Daniel Goray, Rodolfo Collazo and Gloria Ramos, the private security guard as Alan Pascual Ventura and the migrant as Jaison Daniel Catari.

The attorney general’s office said that following the judge’s decision, it is continuing with the investigations “on the criminal responsibilities of the different public servants of the National Institute of Migration (NIM) and on individuals linked to private security services.”

On Monday, Mexico’s Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection raised the number of migrants killed in the fire to 40.

“At the moment there are 40 people dead and 27 injured, of which 23 remain hospitalized,” the agency said in a press release.

The fire broke out on the night of Mar. 27 at the detention facility, where about 70 people were held.

The causes of the fire are still unknown.

According to the official account, the fire was started by the migrants, who burned mattresses in protest when they learned that they were going to be deported.

Among the victims are six Honduran migrants, seven Salvadorans, 18 Guatemalans, one Colombian and seven Venezuelans while the identity of the last deceased person is unknown.

According to Mexican civil society organizations, 2022 was the most tragic year for migrants in Mexico as some 900 died trying to cross from the country into the United States.

The region is experiencing a record migration flow, with 2.76 million undocumented migrants detained at the US-Mexico border in the 2022 fiscal year. EFE