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INM Director Francisco Garduño heads to court to face charges in fire death of 40 migrants

Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua — An imputation hearing against the Director of the National Institute of Migration (INM), Francisco Garduño, was held Tuesday. During his hearing, charges were heard regarding a fire that killed 40 migrants in Ciudad Juárez last month.

The director of the National Institute of Migration (INM) refused to comment upon arrival at the Federal Criminal Justice Center in Ciudad Juárez regarding his responsibility in that fire.

Garduño was quickly escorted into the federal building without making any comment to the numerous media who were outside waiting for him.

Garduño is facing charges laid by the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) since he was in charge of the station where the migrants died on March 27. He is facing charges of improper exercise of public service.

The FGR has accused Garduño and another high-ranking INM official “of engaging in alleged criminal conduct by failing to comply with their obligations to monitor, protect and provide security to the people and facilities in their charge, promoting crimes committed against migrants.”

On March 27 of this year, 40 migrants were killed and another 27 injured in a fire that started inside the INM facilities. Video from inside the station show the migrants trapped behind metal bars trying to kick it open to escape from the flames while at least two security guards ignored their pleas for help.