Emotions and meditation in San Antonio after the tragedy with migrants found dead in a truck


People who came to show respect on June 29, 2022 to the migrants who died in a truck found in San Antonio, Texas (AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA)

Tributes to the 53 migrants who died after driving in an overheated truck continued Wednesday in Texas, including an impromptu meeting at the scene of the gruesome discovery.

Roberto Alvares, 48, braved the scorching sun to come and lay roses and candles down. For this resident of the neighborhood, who arrived illegally in the United States, the tragedy reopens old wounds.

“We put ourselves in their place, instead of people who have been there, because we have experienced that too,” he says.

People on June 29, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas, in front of the makeshift memorial to the migrants found dead in an overheated truck (AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA)

People on June 29, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas, in front of the makeshift memorial to the migrants found dead in an overheated truck (AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA)

Around him, dozens of people also came to pay tribute to the memory of the missing. At the foot of three large crosses adorned with a dark fabric, you pile up bouquets of flowers, candles and bottles of water.

“All of this breaks my heart because I have family who have been through the same thing,” said Veronica Vazquez, 37. “All my cousins, my uncles who come to the United States, do it illegally. Some walk along the river (Rio Grande , ed. note) and others in the desert “, two extremely dangerous routes.

– “Really bad” –

Already the day before, dozens of people, including children, had gathered in a park in pouring rain for a guard by the glow of their mobile phones. City Mayor Ron Nirenberg listened silently without speaking.

“It really hurts,” said Andrea Osorio, a 48-year-old Mexican and one of the people who spoke out to express their pain and anger.

During a shift for migrants who died in a truck on June 28, 2022 in San Antonio (AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA)

During a shift for migrants who died in a truck on June 28, 2022 in San Antonio (AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA)

“I’ve been here (in San Antonio) for 33 years without papers, and I’m scared every day,” she said. “I know why we came. We did not come to commit crimes, we only came for a better future.”

It was Monday night that a San Antonio municipal employee heard a call for help near a road where he was working and opened the back door of a truck abandoned by a scorching temperature.

Inside were dozens of corpses and “conscious” people suffering from hyperthermia and acute dehydration. Eleven remain hospitalized.

Of the 53 victims, 27 were from Mexico, 14 from Honduras, seven from Guatemala and two from El Salvador, with one person still to be identified, according to Francisco Garduno, head of Mexico’s National Institute of Migration.

Joe Biden on Tuesday lamented a “tragedy” and called for “the fight against multibillion-dollar criminal trafficking that exploits migrants and costs far too many innocent lives.”

– “Terrible” –

During a shift for migrants who died in a truck on June 28, 2022 in San Antonio (AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA)

During a shift for migrants who died in a truck on June 28, 2022 in San Antonio (AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA)

During the shift, Carlos Eduardo Espina, 23, criticized migration policy in the United States, the country he arrived in at the age of five.

“It’s awful, it’s heartbreaking,” said the activist, whose father is Uruguayan and mother Mexican.

“But every day people die drowned in the river, every day people die in the desert. Death is the norm in immigration to the United States,” he condemned.

The young man wants a more humane migration policy and an increase in the number of visas granted each year.

“We must continue to fight, otherwise it will continue,” he argued, accusing the governments of the countries of origin of migrants of not emphasizing the well-being of their citizens.

Guillermina Barrón, 38, listened in silence.

“Unfortunately, I identify a lot with what’s going on because I’m Mexican, even though I emigrated 20 years ago,” she said with tears in her eyes.

“I feel a lot of pain and helplessness. Many things need to change because the lives lost are many,” she lamented.

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