(Reuters) – A judge in northern Mexico has charged the head of Mexico’s migration authority, Francisco Garduño, in connection with a deadly fire at a migrant centre in Ciudad Juárez on March 27 that killed 40 migrants, authorities said on Sunday.
After a lengthy hearing, the court in Ciudad Juarez said there was sufficient evidence to charge Garduno, head of the National Migration Institute (INM), for unlawful exercise of public office, the Federal Judicial Council said.
Garduno, an ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is not under arrest, but must report to authorities every two weeks. The investigation is set to conclude within four months.
AN ACT OF NEGLEGENCE ?
After the announcement, Garduno told reporters he could not comment on details of an ongoing case, and that he would be paying close attention to efforts to provide reparations.
According to authorities, the fire began after one or more of the migrants set alight mattresses as a protest, killed 40 male migrants, most of them from Central America.
A video published online after the incident, apparently of security footage from the holding center during the blaze, showed men kicking on the bars of a locked door as uniformed people walk past without trying to open the door.