According to San Antonio city officials and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a tractor-trailer recovered in the vicinity of Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio included the corpses of 50 dead persons as well as 16 additional people who had been brought to clinics.
At a press conference held close to the incident, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared, “It’s nothing short of a tragic humanitarian disaster.”
Three persons were in jail, according to local officials, although it was not immediately apparent whether they were connected to the event or whether federal investigators were looking into it. A representative for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said San Antonio police are assisting Homeland Security Investigations, which is in charge of the criminal probe.
Near the junction of Cassin Drive and Quintana Road in Southwest San Antonio, the horrible find was uncovered.
Officials at the federal, state and municipal levels concur that the victims were immigrants. Although trafficking in human beings and cross-border trafficking have long been issuing along the U.S.-Mexico border, the loss of 50 lives is shocking. The episode, according to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, was the bloodiest incidence of people smuggling he could remember in the city.
“Horrified at this senseless death close to San Antonio. According to Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus, “This speaks to the desperation of refugees who would entrust their lives to heartless human traffickers who have no regard for human life. “We will cooperate fully with this investigation with our federal, state, and local partners,” the statement continued.
Just before six o’clock in the evening, a nearby worker called the police to report the truck after hearing a plea for help and going to check, according to McManus.
Some of the dead were discovered over multiple blocks, which suggests that people were attempting to get out of the tractor-trailer, as per a law enforcement official. The official stated that the tractor-trailer had a refrigeration system, but it didn’t seem to be functioning. The official claimed that several of the persons discovered inside the car looked to have been covered in steak seasoning, possibly in an effort to mask the odor of the passengers while the traffickers were carrying them.
When they approached, the truck’s windows were only partially open, according to the investigators; one body was outside and the remainder was inside. Charles Hood, the city’s fire chief, noted that the survivors didn’t seem to have access to clean drinking water and weren’t strong enough to get out of the vehicle on their own.
Hood remarked, “We’re not meant to open up a vehicle and find stacks of bodies inside. “None of us enter the workplace picturing that.”
Four kids and twelve adults were brought to hospitals. They had heat stroke and heat stroke, and they were hot to touch, but Hood said he was “quite optimistic” that they would live.
National Weather Service meteorologists report that June 2022 is already San Antonio’s hottest June in history with just a few days left in the month.
According to historical NWS data going back to 1885, San Antonio experiences nine days on average each year with temperatures of 100 degrees or greater. According to NWS meteorologist Bob Fogarty, San Antonio has seen temperatures of 100 degrees or greater on 16 days this year.
McManus informed reporters that he wasn’t sure that everyone who had been in the truck had been located and that the number of persons who had been there overall is still unknown to the authorities. He said that the truck was not found with the three guys who are now in prison, but he would not elaborate.
According to Reuters, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard stated that the Mexican consul in San Antonio was en route to the scene of the incident. However, Guatemalan officials announced in a statement that U.S. and Mexican authorities have confirmed some of the fatalities are from Guatemala. Ebrard said that the nationalities of all the victims are still unclear.
The foreign ministry of Honduras stated that it is looking into if any of the victims were Hondurans. Officials did inform us that some of the fatalities may be Hondurans since they had emblems or insignia of our nation on their clothing, Alex Selgado of Fuerza Catracha, a Honduran immigrant rights organization, informed The San Antonio Express-News at the scene.
Ten people died when San Antonio police found 39 undocumented immigrants inside a burning tractor-trailer in 2017. In 2018, the truck driver was given a life sentence.
In contrast, 19 undocumented immigrants who had died from suffocation in an airless trailer in 2003 were brutally murdered in Victoria.
Last Monday, the Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol reported that it had stopped four attempts to smuggle people and made 50 arrests as a result.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the US secretary of homeland security, remarked, “I am saddened by the terrible tragedy today and am thinking for those still struggling for their lives.” “Far too many lives have been lost as people have made this perilous voyage, including families, women, and children.”
Gov. Greg Abbott responded to the tragedy in a tweet by blaming President Joe Biden for the deaths, claiming “they are a consequence of his disastrous open border policies.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Biden answered.
He said, “My Government will keep going doing everything possible to block human smuggling and traffickers from taking full advantage of people who are trying to come to The United States between ports of entry. Exploiting individuals at risk for financial gain is shameful, as is political posturing around tragedy.
Democratic challenger to Abbott for governor, Beto O’Rourke, tweeted that the event is “devastating.”
The absence of bravery to address the immigration bill is once again claiming and destroying lives, the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Antonio, Gustavo García-Siller, stated on Twitter. We do not develop. We learn to change from God.
Ruben Minutti, the general consul of Mexico in San Antonio, requested that any nationals of Mexico needing assistance or info pertaining to the incident contact the consulate at 210-872-4386.