President of Mexico asks the US for more help for migrants after deadly fire

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador this Friday renewed its claim to the United States to allocate more resources to prevent irregular migration in poor regions of Latin America, after the death of 39 migrants in a detention center in Mexico.

Without detailing the figure, López Obrador said that Washington’s investment in Central America pales in comparison to the billions of dollars it has allocated in military aid for Ukraine to face the Russian invasion.

"Since I came to power (in 2018) there is evidence that I have been (…) asking the United States government to help migrants so that they do not have to leave their towns", said the leftist president in his usual press conference.

Last Monday night, a fire killed 39 men confined in the cell of an immigration detention center in Ciudad Juárez (north, on the border with the United States).

The fire started when at least one migrant set mattresses on fire amid protests over possible deportation, and those in charge of security did nothing to open the gate, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

The tragedy claimed the life of 18 Guatemalans, 7 Salvadorans, 7 Venezuelans, 6 Hondurans and one Colombian, while another 27 people were injured. Justice ordered the capture of six alleged perpetrators of homicide.

In United States "they have a conception of wanting to face social problems only with the use of force, and the causes are not addressed"but "we will continue insisting" that more be invested in the countries from which the migrants leave, indicated López Obrador.

The president recalled that Mexico has allocated 100 million dollars to social programs in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, which according to him has contributed to dissuading many young people from leaving their communities.

"What we have asked the United States government is that if we are allocating 100 million dollars, give it your help, and they have not done so. Neither with President (Donald) Trump did we achieve this goal, nor now with President (Joe) Biden"lament.

The president acknowledged, however, that a temporary visa program adopted by Biden has helped reduce the migratory flow "considerably"and advocated that any aid be delivered directly and not through NGOs, which he even accused of trafficking in people’s needs.

López Obrador, who will visit Ciudad Juárez this Friday to verify the care given to the injured in the fire, also announced a "reform" to the National Institute of Migration (INM), which manages the immigration detention centers.

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