MEXICO CITY — In one of the deadliest incidents at an immigration lockup in Mexico, a fire in a dormitory at a detention center near the U.S. border in Ciudad Juarez has left 39 migrants dead and 29 injured. According to the National Immigration Institute, the injured individuals are in “delicate-serious” condition. At the time of the fire, the facility housed 68 men from Central and South America.

Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fire, and the governmental National Human Rights Commission has been called in to assist the migrants. Tensions have been escalating in Ciudad Juarez as migrant shelters are filled to capacity, and many individuals wait to cross into the U.S. or are in the process of seeking asylum.

An open letter published on March 9 by over 30 migrant shelters and advocacy organizations criticized the criminalization of migrants and asylum seekers in the city, accusing authorities of abuse and excessive force when detaining migrants.

The National Immigration Institute has expressed its rejection of the actions that led to the tragedy but has not provided any further explanation. Mexican immigration lockups have faced issues such as overcrowding and protests in recent years, as the country attempts to stem migration to the U.S. border under pressure from the American government.

Source:, CNN, BBC