Their families mourn the migrants who suffocated in a truck

Their families mourn the migrants who suffocated in a truck

From Mexico to Guatemala, entire families mourn the death of their loved ones, who suffocated this week inside a trailerafter the human trafficker who mobilized them abandoned them in the midst of high temperatures.

Some of the mourners, who traveled to the site in San Antonio, Texas, where an altar has been erected in memory of the 53 victims, say they or their loved ones had also immigrated to the United States illegally.

Others who do not have the possibility of being able to travel to the US await news from a distance, such as Magdalena Tepaz, who lives in Tzucubal, an indigenous community in Guatemala and who lost her 13-year-old son, Wilmer Tulul.

The 38-year-old does not speak Spanish, only Quiché, which is why she receives news in dribs and drabs, when a translator of her dialect is available. Tepaz, who was interviewed by APnarrated that her son left the community on June 14 along with his cousin Pascual Melvin Guachiac, also 13 years old and another of the victims.

Both were trying to get to Houston with relatives and try to start a new life and be able to help their parents. But their trip was cut short in San Antonio: both died along with other migrants, swirling in the box of the trailer and under suffocating heat.

Immigration authorities said many of the 53 migrants died of dehydration and heat stroke after they were locked inside the trailer without water during a day when the ambient temperature soared to 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius).

Another eleven are still being treated in local hospitals.

Francisco Garduño, director of Mexico’s National Migration Institute, among the dead were 27 Mexicans, 14 Hondurans, seven Guatemalans and two Salvadorans.

The nationalities of the other three have not yet been revealed.

Also on Thursday, Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Tony García made an appearance at the scene of the tragedy, telling the voice of america that the number of victims of Honduran nationality remains at five, differing from the number announced by the Mexican authorities.

The official explained that he had a meeting with the morgue investigation team in charge of doing the autopsy on the bodies, and they informed him that inside the trailer “they found five identification documents.” “They were not next to the bodies but thrown , which suggests that there are five compatriots there,” he added.

According to García, they are working on the identification process to proceed as soon as possible with the repatriation of the bodies.


So far, four men have been arrested and charged in the incident, according to a statement from the West Texas district attorney’s office.

The office said a 45-year-old man named Homero Zamorano had been arrested at the scene, where he was seen “hiding in the brush after trying to run away.”

He was also seen on surveillance footage driving the truck through an immigration checkpoint, the document cites, adding that he has been charged with involvement in alien smuggling resulting in death. If he is convicted, he could face life in prison or even the death penalty.

Zamorano, who is from Brownsville but now lives in Pasadena, a Houston suburb, abandoned the 18-wheeler on a semi-rural road near Interstate 35 and tried to flee, authorities said. He was “observed hiding in the brush after attempting to run away,” according to the US Attorney for the Western District of Texas.

Federal prosecutors also charged three other men in connection with the crime: Christian Martinez, 28, who was arrested Tuesday in Palestine, East Texas, and two Mexican nationals, Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez, of 23 years old, and Juan Francisco D. ‘Luna-Bilbao, 48 years old, who were arrested on Monday in San Antonio.

the other migration

Just after learning about the tragedy in which several Guatemalans died, the government of the Central American country revealed that more than a thousand Guatemalans have traveled with temporary visas during the first half of the year.

Guatemalans are part of the H-2B temporary visa program offered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor.

* With information from Jaime Moreno, special envoy of the VOA to San Antonio, and information from the AP and AFP agencies.

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