Video surveillance footage on Tuesday appeared to show guards leaving as flames engulfed an immigration detention center in northern Mexico where dozens of migrants died in a fire.
The 32-second video was broadcast by several media and authenticated by a government minister following the blaze that broke out late Monday in Ciudad Juarez on the border with the United States.
In the background, flames spew out increasingly thick gray then black smoke in a cell. A man inside kicks a door that appears to be locked.
On the other side of the bars, three officers seem to hurry away with their backs to the migrants.
The last 15 seconds of the video show flames spreading and smoke filling the entire room.
Interior Minister Adan Augusto Lopez confirmed the authenticity of the images.
"I know this video," he said in a television interview.
"We had this video since last night. But in order not to hinder the investigations, out of respect for the victims, we must be careful," he added.
The video sparked accusations on social media of negligence by the authorities.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that the migrants were believed to have lit the fire as a protest because they feared they would be deported.
"They put mats at the door of the shelter and set them on fire as a protest, and did not imagine that it would cause this terrible tragedy," he told reporters.
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