22 Mexicans, 7 Guatemalans, and 2 Hondurans have been identified so far among the victims
According to Texas law enforcement officials, fifty-one people thought to be migrants have been found deceased in an abandoned truck on a remote road in rural San Antonia, Texas, United States.
Forty-six individuals were declared deceased at the scene of the horrific incident, with most of their bodies found in the trailer. Sixteen people were found alive, among them four children. They were transferred to medical facilities to receive care for heat stroke and exhaustion, and since then, five of the sixteen remaining victims have died.
This tragedy marks another catastrophic conclusion of the constant struggle for survival that many migrants face. The victims have been identified as migrants from Mexico and Central America, likely being transported for a smuggling operation. A city worker discovered the gruesome scene on Monday afternoon after hearing crying from the abandoned truck.
The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, shared an update on the victims through his Twitter account, “of the deceased, 22 are Mexicans, 7 Guatemalans, 2 Hondurans, and the rest are yet to be identified. We are in mourning for this major tragedy. Mexico has joined investigations with the United States, coordinating with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security”.
This aerial view captures the investigation scene as authorities search the abandoned vehicle and surrounding areas. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)
Craig Larrabee, Acting Special Agenda of the Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonia, shared with CNN how this is the highest number of deaths from a smuggling attempt in the United States. Larrabee further shared how South Texas has been extremely busy with illegal border crossings with daily discoveries.
As the investigation continues, authorities have arrested the driver of the truck and two others said to be involved in the smuggling operation.
Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas shared with the Associated Press that the truck passed a Border Patrol checkpoint in Laredo, Texas – but authorities are still unaware that the migrants were in the truck at the time.
President of the United States shared his thoughts about the shocking incident through a statement release: “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”.