Mexican officials said Thursday, April 13, 2023, that the head of the country’s immigration agency would make his first court appearance next week. This is part of their investigation into a fire at a holding center last month that killed 40 migrants.
The Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that Francisco Garduo, who is in charge of the National Immigration Institute, will be there on April 21. The report said that the officials would then make official charges and show proof.
Late Tuesday, prosecutors said Garduo would face criminal charges but didn’t say what those charges would be.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had known Garduo for years and asked him to take the job in 2019 when then-U.S. President Donald Trump pressured Mexico to reduce migration. On Wednesday, López Obrador said Garduo would stay in his career.
Federal investigators had said that Garduo made a mistake by not stopping the disaster in Ciudad Juarez, even though there were signs of problems at his agency’s holding centers before the tragedy happened. Prosecutors said that government reports had found “a pattern of irresponsibility and repeated omissions” in the immigration center.
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On March 27, a fire broke out in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. It is thought that a migrant lit a mattress on fire as a protest in a cell with many people. The building quickly filled with smoke, and no one let the refugees out.
Three Mexican immigration officials, a guard, and a Venezuelan migrant are already in jail on murder charges because they are thought to have started the fire.
Prosecutors said Thursday that an unnamed official would give a statement and that other immigration officials would be arrested.
Source- Oregon Public Broadcasting Department