Local media reported that several migrants died in a fire early Tuesday in a detention center where they were being held in Ciudad Juarez (North), a Mexican city on the border with the United States.
An AFP journalist was able to see firefighters and rescue workers moving several bodies under blankets into the parking lot of the National Institute of Migration near the border.
The Iraqi National Movement, contacted by AFP by phone, confirmed the fire but refused to give any information about the casualties. According to local media, citing unidentified official sources, dozens of people are believed to have died.
A rescue worker, who asked not to be named because of not being authorized to speak, said about 70 migrants, most of them Venezuelans, were at the site.
Finagle, a Venezuelan, screams in despair outside the center where her 27-year-old husband was taken after his arrest. “They took him in an ambulance,” she says. She does not know anything about her condition and complains that center officials “don’t say anything”.
The fire broke out just before midnight on Monday, prompting early Tuesday morning to mobilize firefighters and dozens of ambulances.
Ciudad Juarez, adjacent to El Paso (Texas), is one of the border cities from which many illegal immigrants seek to get to the United States to seek asylum there.
Since 2014, about 7,661 migrants have died or gone missing en route to the United States, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).