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Families still don't know if relatives died in fire at migrant center

Mexican officials made arrests in connection to a fire that killed at least 39 migrants, but some families don't know if their relatives are dead.
Posted at 9:21 PM, Mar 31, 2023

Families in Latin America are reeling in despair as images of a deadly blaze at a migrant center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico travel across social media and the news, while some are still waiting to to identify their loved ones. 

Carola Madrid is one mother waiting, as the Mexican government hasn't released any details as to whether her son is alive.

"This is not easy for many other mothers like me," Madrid said. "It's not only me; there are a lot of other mothers of other people who died who are suffering just like me because I don't know anything about my son." 

In Honduras, a father awaits news of his 30-year-old son Dikson Aron Cordova, who is also unaccounted for.

"We don't have words to express ourselves," said José Cordova. "It's hard. These hard blows are unbearable, even if you want to be strong."

An altar with candles and photos covers the fence outside the Mexican immigration detention center.

5 arrested in connection with deadly fire at migrant detention center

An arrest warrant has also been issued for a sixth person, one of the migrants who is suspected of setting the fire.


One Venezuelan migrant and a cousin of one of the deceased migrants said he was told he had to be a direct relative to receive information or identify a body.

"I told him, 'Here are all those people who lost their lives. The vast majority do not have close relatives here,'" Edgar Naranjo said.

At least 39 migrants died and 27 others were injured in the fire this week at a Ciudad Juarez detention center. 

Mexican officials say they have arrested five people for their role in the fire, with a sixth person charged but not yet taken into custody. Though they haven't named the suspects, six arrests warrants have been issued for three government migration officials, two private security workers and a migrant accused of starting the blaze. Officials say the workers did nothing to help migrants flee the blaze.