Bodies of 17 Guatemalans who died in Mexico migrant center fire arrive home

By David Toro Escobar

Guatemala City, Apr 11 (EFE).- The Guatemalan authorities on Tuesday received the bodies of 17 nationals who died in a fire at a migrant center in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, last month.

“Mexicans and Guatemalans have worked tirelessly to identify people and achieve repatriation,” said Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro after a minute’s silence for the victims who arrived in the capital on a Mexican air force plane.

Bucaro said that Guatemala adhered to the criminal process in Mexico against those allegedly responsible for the fire in Ciudad Juárez to “seek trial, punishment and reparation.”

He then withdrew from the event without answering questions from reporters.

The 17 citizens were from indigenous communities in the south and northwest of Guatemala and who lived in conditions of extreme poverty and were all men between the ages of 18 and 53, according to information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The relatives of the victims took the coffins of their loved ones and will say their farewells on Wednesday and Thursday in their communities.

During the reception, Laura Elena Carrillo, director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (Amexid), assured that her government is working to prevent “a tragedy of this type from happening again.”

Guatemala is still waiting to receive the last two of its nationals who died in the tragedy as authorities are still working to fully identify them, according to the same source.

Nine other Guatemalans who survived the fire in Ciudad Juárez are still hospitalized in Mexico and are recovering, said Búcaro.

The fire started after some migrants set fire to mattresses in a protest and officials accused in relation to the fire are in custody, according to the Mexican authorities.

The Attorney General’s Office reported that the identified migrants are one Colombian, one Ecuadorian, 12 Salvadorans, 28 Guatemalans, 13 Hondurans and 13 Venezuelans, although which were deaths and injuries were not specified.

According to international human rights organizations, 2022 was the most tragic year for migrants in Mexico, as some 900 died trying to cross 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 fiscal year 2022. EFE


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