San Antonio trailer deaths – latest: Driver Homero Zamorano and three others charged as toll hits 53

At least 46 bodies found in trailer, San Antonio officials say

At least 53 people were found dead, “stacked” in the tractor-trailer of a truck near San Antonio, Texas, in what authorities say could be the deadliest human trafficking incident in modern U.S. history.

Another 16 people, including four children, were taken to local hospitals under various conditions, officials said. The police have arrested three people. The United States Department of Homeland Security is investigating.

According to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, a city worker heard a cry for help from the abandoned truck before discovering the horrific scene.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden called the “tragic loss of life” in Texas “horrific and heartbreaking,” while San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg called it a “horrific human tragedy.”

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed that the nationalities of some of the victims who died in the three-digit truck had been identified. Among the victims are 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott will hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon at the southern border, where his office says he plans to address the “ongoing response to President Biden’s growing border crisis.”

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What do we know about the victims of the San Antonio smuggling tragedy?

About two weeks ago, the two cousins ​​returned to the small, harsh hamlet of their childhood in southern Mexico to bid farewell in what has become a right of way for generations of migrants from their remote, impoverished mountainous region in the state of Oaxaca.

It wouldn’t be the first trip to the US-Mexico border for Javier Flores López, now in his mid-thirties, who years ago had left Cerro Verde and gone to Ohio, where his father and brother live and he worked in construction. .

He was home to see his wife and three small children, said a cousin, Francisco López Hernández. This time he returned to the United States with another cousin, José Luis Vásquez Guzmán, 32, who went for the first time and hoped to join his oldest brother who was also in Ohio.

While everyone knew the risks, countless people from Cerro Verde had crossed the US-Mexico border safely with the help of smugglers, so it came as a shock, López Hernández said, to learn that his cousins ​​and dozens of other migrants were being brought in. abandoned a tractor-trailer sizzling under the Texas sun.

Josh MarcusJune 30, 2022 03:30 am

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EXPLANATION: Heat, humidity a dangerous mix in immigrant deaths

The combination of heat and humidity would have quickly created life-threatening conditions in the packed, unconditioned tractor-trailer where dozens of immigrants were found dead, an expert said.

While it’s unclear how long the people were in the trailer, it would likely only take an hour or less for temperatures to rise to 125 degrees (51 Celsius) or hotter, said Jennifer Vanos, an assistant professor of climate and health at Arizona. State University that has studied infant mortality in cars.

The death toll rose to 53 on Wednesday, two days after the tractor-trailer – packed with 67 people – was found abandoned on the outskirts of San Antonio, marking the country’s deadliest smuggling delivery to the US-Mexico border.

Josh MarcusJune 30, 2022 03:00 am

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Under the Tragedy, A Case of Identity Swap

Haneydi Jazmin Antonio Guzmán told friends and family on her Facebook page that she was “well by the grace of God”.

“Believe nothing, this is a lie, that legitimacy [her voter ID]it was stolen a year ago,” she said after media reports named her as one of the survivors of the tragedy in the trailer.

Ms Antonio Guzmán, from Escuintla in Guatemala, said she was not the person hospitalized and clarified that her ID — found on one person in the trailer tragedy — was stolen from her a year ago.

Read the full story of Marosha Muzaffar

Josh MarcusJune 30, 2022 02:30 am

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San Antonio funeral home helps victims of smuggling disaster

A funeral home in San Antonio is stepping in to help those who have lost loved ones in Monday’s horrific incidence of people smuggling.

The Compean Funeral Home helps return the bodies of those lost in coffins so that their families can give them a proper burial.

“This is just the beginning, I can tell you that. This is going to be a marathon. This isn’t going to be a sprint,” owner Gregory Compean told Click2Houston. “Every time human remains are sent out of the country, those remains must be properly embalmed within all of the rules and regulations in the state of Texas to be accepted by that other country.”

The funeral home owner said he assisted in a similar process in 2003, when 19 migrants were killed in a smuggling accident.

Josh MarcusJune 30, 2022 02:00

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31-year-old from rural Mexico among trailer tragedy survivors

Jose Luis Vasquez, a 31-year-old from an indigenous, rural mountain area in southern Mexico, is one of the survivors of Monday’s smuggling tragedy in Texas.

Vasquez, who is now being treated at a hospital in San Antonio, had recently left the Mexican military but had failed to notify his family of his travel plans.

“I think it was the same story as always,” his uncle Aquilino Guzman told Reuters. “Looking for better opportunities.”

Josh MarcusJune 30, 2022 01:40 am

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Four indicted for killing tractor trailer

Four people, including alleged truck driver Homero Zamarano Jr., have been charged in connection with the deaths of migrants in San Antonio, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

The 45-year-old is charged with one count of alien smuggling resulting in death. He’s from Brownsville, but officials say he’s based in Pasadena, Texas. He could face life in prison or the death penalty.

Federal investigators said they identified Zamarano by checking security footage, and that he was driving the truck that ultimately killed 53 migrants.

Three others were also charged, including Christian Martinez, who allegedly discussed the smuggling plan in a telephone conversation with Mr. Zamarano, and Mexican nationals Juan Claudio and Juan Francisco D’Luna Mendez, who were found because their addresses were used to identify the trigger. to register the trailer. who smuggled the migrants.

Josh MarcusJune 30, 2022 01:36

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San Antonio medical researcher debunks bizarre report of dead migrants covered in steak seasoning

The San Antonio medical examiner has cleared up one of the more bizarre points regarding Monday’s discovery of a tractor-trailer filled with dead and seriously injured migrants.

Initial media reports suggested those were covered in steak seasoning instead, as a way to throw off a potential sniffer dog inspection or other surveillance method at a border inspection point.

However, city officials say there is no evidence of such tactics on the bodies of the 53 migrants who died in the tragedy. the New York Times reports

Josh MarcusJune 30, 2022 01:15 am

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Sister of smuggling tragedy survivor speaks out: ‘I never thought this would happen’

A Guatemalan migrant living in the US says her sister was among those to survive Monday’s tragic migrant smuggling disaster in San Antonio.

A woman identified only as Emeralda told the Guatemalan newspaper free press that she had last heard from her sister, a youngster, via WhatsApp when the truckload of migrants drove through Laredo Texas. At that point, her sister said the trip had gone well and that she would call when she could.

Finally, Esmeralda continued, she received a shocking message from another member of the voyage.

“He said to me, ‘I’m sorry, she was in the trailer,'” the woman said free press† “I never thought this would happen and he confirmed it to me twice.”

However, after worrying for the worst, she got another update: “They saved your sister and she’s fine.”

“I don’t know her health, what she’s like, I just know she escaped,” Esmeralda said.

Josh MarcusJune 30, 2022 00:50

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San Antonio mayor says Washington’s ‘inability’ to push through immigration reform ‘manifests’ tragedies

The discovery of a tractor-trailer filled with dead migrants in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday left many wondering who is responsible for causing such a plight near the border.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg says Congress is partly to blame.

There has been no meaningful immigration reform from Washington in decades, and Mr Nirenberg says this stalemate is “manifesting” tragic consequences.

“Congress’s inability to reform our immigration system is causing — or manifesting — in many ways that are just tragic,” he told CNN.

Josh MarcusJune 30, 2022 00:19

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San Antonio sheriff pleads with Biden for help, criticizes Greg Abbott ‘campaign stunt’ on trailer deaths

The sheriff of Bexar County, which San Antonio is located in, is begging Joe Biden to ignore the Texas governor’s “campaign stunt” surrounding Monday’s migrant smuggling operation and help him instead.

“I’m angry, Mr. President. I am angry that I could not stop this enormous loss of life in my province. I am angry that despite my best efforts to appeal to your records, I have not received a response,” Sheriff Javier Salazar wrote in a letter to the president on Tuesday.

Salazar also criticized Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has tried to blame the 53 deaths in the trailer on Joe Biden’s border policies.

Here’s what else the sheriff wrote:

I’ve seen Governor Greg Abbott portray this humanitarian crisis as some sort of enemy invasion. Governor Abbott has wasted excessive resources and personnel on an ineffective farce of an effort. I know it’s ineffective because my deputies and surrounding sheriffs deal with the aftermath every day in the form of car chases and even rescue operations involving dozens of victims at once. Abbott has jailed countless immigrants on crappy charges that have only served to clog an already overstretched state prison system, which has had a trickle down to overcrowded local prisons.

The sheriff called on the White House to help Bexar County deal with undocumented migration “not as the enemy invasion as it has been portrayed, but as the humanitarian crisis that it really is.”

Josh MarcusJune 29, 2022 23:45

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