Two men from Pasadena, Texas have been indicted in relation to the deaths of 53 migrants, according to The Associated Press. Prosecutors stated that the migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer near San Antonio. The cause of death was heat exhaustion.
The men indicted were named as Homero Zamorano Jr., 46, and Christian Martinez, 28. Zamorano and Martinez have been charged with causing death by illegal transporting and conspiring to transport illegally and also causing serious injury by illegal transporting and conspiring to transport illegally.
Both men have been denied bail and are currently being held in federal custody. The charges for serious injuries could result in prison sentences up to 20 years. If Zamorano and Martinez are convicted for causing death by illegal transportation, they could face either life in prison, or the prosecutors could push for the death penalty.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood who attended the scene noted that the migrants were “too hot to touch.” Hood added, “They were suffering from heat stroke, heat exhaustion. There were no signs of water in the vehicle.” He said that although it was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, “there was no visible air conditioning unit on that rig.”
This has been the deadliest tragedy to take the lives of migrants attempting to cross the border. 67 people were travelling in the trailer, 27 were from Mexico, 14 were from Honduras, seven were from Guatemala, and 2 were from El Salvador. These figures are from Mexico’s National Immigration Institute.
Similar incidents have occurred in the past with a smaller number of fatalities. As AP reports, in 2017, 10 people died near a Walmart in San Antonio Texas after getting trapped in a truck. In 2003, 19 migrants were found dead after suffocating in truck in scotching heat south of San Antonio.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WKBN.COM
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