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Tragedy in Ciudad Juárez Highlights Dangers Faced by Migrants

Images released in the aftermath of the fire showed dozens of lifeless bodies covered in silver thermal blankets on the ground outside the facility.

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Fatima Pavon, 12, a migrant girl from Venezuela takes part in a vigil outside the office of the National Institute of Migration (INM) in memory of the victims of a fire that broke out late on Monday at a migrant detention center, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, March 28, 2023. [ Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez ]

On the night of March 27, at least 39 migrants from various Central and South American countries died after a fire broke out in the dormitory of a migrant center in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Due to the “Safe Third Country” immigration agreement, signed with the U.S. under threats of economic sanctions during the government of former President Donald Trump, the Mexican government has been stepping up efforts to contain irregular migration flow to the U.S. Almost all centers operated by the National Institute of Migration (INM) are overcrowded.

The Mexican authorities have urged the U.S. government several times to commit funds to Central America and southern Mexico to boost development and curb migration as well as to implement measures making it easier for migrants to get jobs in the U.S. However, the Biden administration has yet to take concrete measures to address the crisis.

Images released in the aftermath of the fire showed dozens of lifeless bodies covered in silver thermal blankets on the ground outside the facility. Video footage showed emergency workers attending to survivors gasping for breath.

The fire is considered to be one of the deadliest ever to hit a migration center in Mexico. The tragic event has once again highlighted the multitude of dangers facing the hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees who set off on perilous journeys to the U.S. each year to escape extreme poverty, unemployment, and a lack of opportunities in their countries in the hope of a better life.

Credit Line: from the Peoples Dispatch / Globetrotter News Service

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