(Ciudad Juárez) A “homicide” investigation has been opened in Mexico where eight people have been identified as allegedly responsible for the deaths of 39 migrants at a federal institute detention center in Ciudad Juárez at the gates of the United States, Mexican authorities said on Wednesday.

“None of the officials or private security officers took any action to open the door for the migrants who were inside while there was a fire,” the rights prosecutor said. of the person Sara Irene Herrerías Guerra during a press conference the day after the events.

An investigation has been opened for “homicide” and “injuries”, she added, without ruling out other crimes.

Eight suspected perpetrators have been identified, added Public Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez.

They are three agents from the National Institute for Migration (INM) and five members of a private security company, she explained.

At least four arrest warrants will be requested from the judges this Wednesday, said the prosecutor.

The prosecutor confirmed the authenticity of a 32-second video broadcast by several media including AFP. “This video is part of the investigation file,” she said.

These CCTV images show the start of the fire on the night of Monday to Tuesday. Behind bars, in the smoke, a man kicks against a closed door while another appears to put a mattress on the ground.

In the foreground, on the other side of the cell, three officers, two of whom are in uniform, retire with their backs to them, without giving them assistance.

“We are not going to hide anything and there is not going to be impunity,” assured Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, announcing the presentation of a first report by the authorities on this fire.

He called for “those who caused this painful tragedy to be punished according to law”.

At first, the Mexican president had estimated that the migrants had started the fire with mattresses in a movement of “protest”.

“We assume that they learned that they were going to be deported, moved,” he said Tuesday hours after this tragedy, unprecedented in facilities for migrants in Mexico.

“Our government does not allow the violation of human rights or impunity,” he insisted on Wednesday, seeming to change his tune under the pressure of the video which provoked outraged reactions.

“How is it possible that the Mexican authorities left human beings locked up with no possibility of escaping the fire? asked Erika Guevara Rosas, director of Amnesty International for the Americas, in a statement on Tuesday.

This video is “heartbreaking,” said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.

She said officials in Mexico and the United States were in contact, with the possibility that some victims could receive medical assistance in the United States.

“We demand that the competent bodies fully investigate what happened and bring those responsible to justice,” El Salvador said, saying four of its nationals were among the seriously injured.

“Government, take responsibility,” read a banner held by a protester at a rally in Mexico City.

The authorities had still not given Wednesday the identity and the number of deaths by nationality. The condition of the injured was also not specified.

Guatemala said 28 of its nationals died in the disaster.

The Mexican authorities also spoke of Hondurans, Venezuelans, Salvadorans among the victims.

Dozens of migrants spent the night in front of the facilities of the National Institute for Migration (INM), where the fire occurred.

Venezuelan Gilbert Zabaleta is looking for two of his friends. “We want to know if they were inside or not,” he told AFP.

“We pray for the migrants who died yesterday in the tragic fire in Ciudad Juárez,” Pope Francis said.

In the wake of the tragedy, the United Nations advocated for “safer” migration routes to the United States and the United States Ambassador to Mexico insisted on “fixing a broken migration system” with his partners in the region.

Ciudad Juárez, neighboring El Paso (Texas), is one of the border towns from which many undocumented migrants seek to reach the United States to seek asylum after a long journey.

US President Joe Biden took new restrictive measures in February, forcing migrants to apply in transit countries or online.

The measures also provide for more frequent use by the United States of immediate deportations, accompanied by a ban on new entry into its territory for five years.

Some 200,000 people attempt to cross the border between Mexico and its northern neighbor every month. Migrants say they want to escape poverty or violence in their countries of origin.

Since 2014, approximately 7,661 migrants have died or gone missing en route to US territory, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).