Claims of abuse, negligence, and human rights violations continue to plague Mexico’s largest immigration station. Last week, authorities tried to cover up their negligence in the second fatality in this facility in a matter of weeks.
Known as the SigloXXI Immigration Station in Tapachula, Chiapas, the facility is listed by numerous human rights organizations as a secretive detention facility used by Mexico’s government to hold migrants for deportation. Mexico’s government has released little information about the number of migrants being held inside the facility, the conditions, and the current situation that migrants go through inside. Mexico’s National Migration Insititute routinely issues statements about respecting human rights and following the law. However, as Breitbart Texas and other international news outlets have revealed, the corruption within INM has led to various large-scale tragedies, including a deadly fire inside a detention facility in Ciudad Juarez in March 2023, where 39 migrants died.
Just last week, a 42-year-old Haitian migrant named “Jean” died inside Siglo XXI when he allegedly choked overnight. According to an INM release, a guard patrolling the facility found him unresponsive and called a doctor, but when the medical help arrived, the man had died.
#TarjetaInformativa | @INAMI_mx informa que, por broncoaspiración el pasado 27 de enero, una persona originaria de #Haití falleció en la Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI, de Tapachula, #Chiapas https://t.co/1Vg71luXWZ pic.twitter.com/Q33wP32IDm
— INM (@INAMI_mx) January 29, 2024
Breitbart Texas spoke with an INM director-level official who revealed that this most recent case is similar to a November 2023 fatality where authorities refused to provide medical care to a Cuban migrant until he had passed. Agents then tried to cover up the case by claiming that he had been rushed to a clinic and died there.
In this most recent case, the information released by INM claimed that the migrant did not respond to calls by guards during their night rounds, and they immediately called for a doctor. According to official INM info, the guards found Jean unresponsive at 22:28. But the claims don’t add up due to the way the cells are built and the standard procedures.
The official said that Siglo XXI is connected to INM’s large-scale surveillance center in Mexico City, where, at least at first glance, agents are constantly monitoring thousands of cameras. However, Breitbart Texas has reported that the surveillance center has been largely ineffective in preventing any of the multiple tragedies that have plagued INM in recent years.
Currently, migrants are held in small cells with multiple concrete bunk beds, one of the leaked photographs revealed.
The way the cells are designed, there is no view from the outside. To open the doors to get to the migrants, the guards have to open various locks, similar to the procedures of a medium or high-security prison in Mexico.
The detention center has strict security measures, even though the migrants inside have not been convicted of violent crimes but are simply awaiting deportation.
Breitbart Texas previously published a series of exclusive photos where guards at Siglo XXI could be seen assaulting migrants inside and throwing them into solitary cells.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at email@example.com.