Riot turns deadly at Mexican migrant detention center; 27 escape

Coronavirus

A group of Honduran migrants arrives to a shelter for undocumented immigrants on September 15, 2014 in Tenosique, Mexico. The shelter, called La 72, is run by Fransiscan friars and is the first stop for thousands of Central American immigrants crossing north through Mexico to reach the United States. Many risk riding atop “La Bestia” or The Beast, a freight train which passes through Tenosique in Mexico’s southern state of Tabasco. The number of immigrants making the perilous trek has diminished from a springtime high, due to Mexican and U.S. law enforcement operations to stem the flow. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Guatemalan migrant died during a riot at an immigration detention center in Mexico, where detainees burned mattresses to protest conditions they say could expose them to the new coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.

Twenty-seven migrants escaped from the facility in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco during the disturbance, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said Wednesday.

The institute said the disturbance largely involved Honduran men, but that one Guatemalan man, 42, died of smoke inhalation.

According to a local migrant shelter in the Tabasco city of Tenosique, the riot broke out Tuesday because migrants were tired of long periods of detention and also feared that overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions could expose them to the coronavirus.

A family of immigrants arrives from Honduras to a shelter for undocumented immigrants on September 15, 2014 in Tenosique, Mexico. The family, including U.S. citizen Gloria Francesca Bucato, 22, her partner, Honduran citizen Louis Felipe and their two children Baylee Bucato, 3, and Luis Bucato, 1, both born in Honduras plans to present themselves to U.S. Border Patrol agents once they manage to cross into the United States. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The “72” migrant shelter said 14 other migrants were injured, some seriously.

The institute said 11 of those injured were treated and released, while three remained under observation.

In the Tenosique protest, and an earlier demonstration at a detention center in the city of Tapachula, migrants expressed anger that they were not released or returned to their countries.

The Institute says deportation programs have been delayed by travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. It said Mexico was in talks with Central American governments about how to resume deportations.

Central American migrants play soccer at a shelter for undocumented immigrants on September 15, 2014 in Tenosique, Mexico. The shelter, called La 72, is run by Fransiscan friars and is the first stop for thousands of Central American immigrants crossing north through Mexico to reach the United States. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The United Nations human rights and migration offices in Mexico said the dead man had sought refugee status in Mexico. It said 13 other people were injured, and said rights workers are working to transfer 42 asylum seekers from the Tenosique facility to a shelter. The institute said remaining detainees had been moved to other facilities.

Mexico now has 1,378 confirmed new coronavirus cases, with 37 deaths.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

California Correspondent Latest Stories

More Salvador Rivera

El Paso Correspondent Latest Stories

More Julian Resendiz

South Texas Correspondent Latest Stories

More Sandra Sanchez

Border Report Correspondents' Stories

Latest Stories

Washington D.C.

More Washington D.C.
borderlogo

About Border Report

The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.