San Antonio trailer – latest: Biden mourns ‘horrifying and heartbreaking’ migrant loss

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

At least 51 people were discovered dead, “stacked” inside a truck’s tractor-trailer near San Antonio, Texas, in what authorities believe may be the deadliest human-trafficking incident in modern US history.

Another 16 people, including four children, were taken to local hospitals in varying conditions, according to officials. Police have taken three people into custody. The US Department of Homeland Security is investigating.

A city worker heard a cry for help from the abandoned truck before discovering the thick scene on Monday, according to San Antonio police chief William McManus.

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

Mexico foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed that the nationalities of some of the victims who died inside the triple-digit-degree truck had been identified. The victims include 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans.


Biden: ‘Horrifying’ incident underscores need for better enforcement against ‘multi-billion dollar criminal smuggling industry’

In a statement mourning the deaths of at least 51 people killed in an apparent human-trafficking incident, President Joe Biden stressed the need “to go after the multi-billion dollar criminal smuggling industry preying on migrants and leading to far too many innocent deaths, ” he said.

“Exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful, as is political grandstanding around tragedy, and my administration will continue to do everything possible to stop human smugglers and traffickers from taking advantage of people who are seeking to enter the United States between ports of entry,” he said.

Alex Woodward29 June 2022 00:56


Prosecutors charge two men with illegal weapons possession

Two men allegeldy living in the US illegally have been charged for illegally possessing weapons connection with the deaths of 51 people believed to be migrants in a tractor-trailer in San Antonion.

Federal prosecutors have charged Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez and Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao with “possession of a weapon by an alien illegally in the US.”

Prosecutors said the truck was registered to an address in the city.

There appears to be no other connection between the two men and the migrant deaths.

Alex Woodward28 June 2022 23:14


Honduran officials say they’re coordinating with US to identify dead migrants

Enrique Reina, Honduras’s foreign minister, said on Twitter that officials from the consulate are communicating with the Bexar County Forensic Office in San Antonio to assist in identifying the dead migrants.

Earlier in the day, officials had confirmed that 22 of the deceased were Mexican, seven were Guatemalan and two were Honduran, without releasing any other identifying information. The other 19 victims nationalities have not been announced.

“The process of scientific identification of the remains will be coordinated with the consulate and will be supported by fingerprint data,” Mr Reina tweeted on Tuesday, adding that the repatriation of the remains will be coordinated with relatives once the identities of the deceased had been confirmed.

Johanna Chisholm28 June 2022 21:28


A global look at some of the deadliest migrant trafficking incidents in recent history

The San Antonio mayor called Monday night’s incident a “horrific human tragedy”, while the US president said that the “tragic loss of life” uncovered in the Texas city was “horrifying and heartbreaking”.

The US Department of Homeland Security, who is leading the probe into the incident that left at least 50 people dead, is being investigated as “An alleged human smuggling event”, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson said Monday.

Some officials have begun labeling the fatal smuggling incident as appearing to be among the most deadly in recent years for migrants near the southern border.

These deaths were just the latest in what has become a series of mass deaths occurring during human trafficking attempts from around the globe. Here, the Associated Press provides a global look at some of those incidents:

October 23, 2019: 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a truck trailer in Essex, England. Four men were jailed for manslaughter.

July 23, 2017: Eight immigrants were found dead in a sweltering trailer at a San Antonio Walmart parking lot. Two others died later in hospitals. The driver was sentenced to life in prison.

Feb. 20, 2017: 13 African migrants suffocated inside a shipping container while being transported between two towns in Libya. A total of 69 migrants, most from Mali, were packed into the container, according to the local Red Crescent branch.

Aug 27, 2015: Austrian police discovered an abandoned truck containing the bodies of 71 migrants, including eight children, from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The truck, found along a highway, had crossed into Austria from Hungary.

April 4, 2009: 35 Afghan migrants suffocated inside a shipping container in southwestern Pakistan. Authorities said that more than 100 people were packed inside the container.

April 9, 2008: 54 Burmese migrants suffocated in the back of an airtight refrigerated truck in Ranong, Thailand.

May 14, 2003: 19 migrants died inside a sweltering tractor-trailer while they traveled from South Texas to Houston.

June 18, 2000: 58 Chinese immigrants were found dead inside a truck in the English port town of Dover. The Dutch truck had transported the immigrants across the English Channel from Belgium. Two people survived.

Johanna Chisholm28 June 2022 21:03


US ambassador to Mexico: San Antonio trailer underscores ‘broken’ legal order at Texas border

The US ambassador to Mexico pinned the blame of at least “50 human beings in San Antonio” dying on what he described as a “broken” legal order at the country’s southern border.

“The horrific and tragic deaths of at least 50 human beings in San Antonio TX last night is the result of a broken and dysfunctional migration legal order, and underscores the imperative of #SummitAmericas Migration Declaration to provide safe, orderly, humane, and legal migration,” Ken Salazar tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.

In a follow-up post, the US ambassador shared a link to president Joe Biden’s statement on the mass death event in Texas, writing: “Smugglers and cartels profiting from human suffering must be held accountable.”

Johanna Chisholm28 June 2022 20:29


Guatemalan officials say forensic doctors report ‘heat stroke’ as probable cause of death

Guatemala’s foreign ministry released a series of tweets on Tuesday that described how their McAllen, Texas consulate is assisting in identifying the victims at the hospitals where the survivors were taken on Monday night.

In a separate tweet, the foreign ministry said that the consulate in McAllen had been in contact with forensic doctors who were working to identify the remains of the dead migrants found crammed inside a tractor-trailer outside San Antonio on Monday.

Those experts, the Guatemalan foreign ministry said, told the consulate that the probably cause of death for the people found inside the semitruck was “heat stroke due to being overcrowded”.

The ministry added that the experts told them it would likely take up to three days to identify the remains of the at least 50 people who died in the incident.

Johanna Chisholm28 June 2022 20:04


Pope Francis offers prayers for ‘brothers and sisters’ who died in San Antonio semitruck

Pope Francis took to Twitter to express his condolences for the at least 50 “brothers and sisters” who died after being trapped inside a sweltering semitruck in San Antonio on Monday night.

“I sorrowfully heard the news of the tragedy of the #migrants in Texas and #Melilla. let us #PrayTogether for these brothers and sisters who died following their hope of a better life,” the head of the Catholic Church tweeted from his official account on Tuesday. “For ourselves, may the Lord might open our hearts so these misfortunes never happen again.”

Johanna Chisholm28 June 2022 19:28


Mexican officials make rounds at hospitals where survivors are recovering

The Consul General of Mexico in San Antonio said that officials have begun touring the hospitals where survivors suffering from heat stroke and heat exhaustion are being treated after they were rescued from inside a triple-digit-degree semitruck on Monday.

“We are here to support them and we are here to provide them with all the support of the consular network,” said Rubén Minutti in a video posted on the Twitter account of Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s Foreign Minister, on Tuesday.

Mr Minutti said that he and Mr Ebrard are working in close collaboration and coordination with their Central American colleagues, and noted that the officials were giving priority to the care of families and hospitalized people awaiting confirmation and corroboration of the data on the nationality of said persons .

Johanna Chisholm28 June 2022 19:05


Mexico’s attorney general promises to open investigation into ‘tragedy’

Mexico’s foreign minister said that his country’s attorney general would open an investigation into the San Antonio “tragedy”.

Writing on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, Marcelo Ebrard confirmed that he’d spoken with Mexico Attorney General Dr Alejandro Gertz Manero, who told the foreign minister that he planned to initiate a probe into the incident, which officials say has so far claimed at least 22 Mexican nationals.

Johanna ChisholmJune 28, 2022 18:28


Officials tap neighboring counties to help with the number of bodies

On Tuesday, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, the county’s top elected official, confirmed that officials had begun enlisting help from neighboring counties to help deal with the number of bodies from the Monday night incident.

The southern part of Texas where the semitruck was traveling through has long been the busiest area for illegal border crossings. Migrants ride in vehicles through Border Patrol checkpoints to San Antonio, the closest major city, from which point they disperse across the US, the Associated Press reported.

Mr Wolff confirmed in an interview with the news agency Tuesday that law enforcement agencies believe the truck was coming up from Laredo, a border city that is more than 150 miles south of where the trailer was later uncovered.

“They had just parked it on the side of the road,” Mr Wolff said. “Apparently had mechanical problems and left it there.”

Johanna Chisholm28 June 2022 18:05

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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