Tragedia en Texas: consulado mexicano ya contactó a las familias de 15 de los 27 migrantes fallecidos / Official: 27 dead migrants found in San Antonio believed to be Mexican

El cónsul mexicano en San Antonio, Rubén Minutti, colocó una ofrenda en el memorial por las víctimas, ubicado en la zona donde fue encontrado el tráiler abandonado

Rubén Minutti, cónsul de México en San Antonio, Texas, dio a conocer que la representación nacional ya se contactó con las familias de 15 de los 27 connacionales que fallecieron dentro de un tráiler abandonado en la urbe de los Estados Unidos.

Autoridades nacionales colocaron ofrenda por migrantes mexicanos fallecidos (Foto: Twitter/Lilliana Padilla)

Ante las preguntas sobre si se conocerá el nombre o más datos de las víctimas, el representante mexicano indicó que las familias serán las que autorizarán que sea o no pública dicha información, por lo que esperarán a que éstos den el visto bueno sobre la situación.

Asimismo, el titular del consulado mexicano confirmó que aún se encuentran dos mexicanos hospitalizados en nosocomios del condado; uno está en condición crítica, el otro fue declarado como estable por los médicos que llevan el caso.

La nueva información que brindó Rubén Minutti ocurrió durante su encuentro con medios que cubrieron la colocación de una ofrenda, por parte de las autoridades nacionales, en el memorial a los migrantes fallecidos que vecinos de la zona colocaron en el lugar donde fue encontrado el tráiler abandonado.

De acuerdo a la información que el diplomático había ofrecido un día antes, se notificó que el consulado en San Antonio ha atendido alrededor de 100 llamadas de familiares buscando a su cercano desaparecido, 30 llamadas más han sido respondidas mediante el Centro de Información y Asistencia a Mexicanos (CIAM), quienes, dijo, han brindando la atención correspondiente.

Los migrantes mexicanos que fallecieron provenían de ocho diferentes estados de la república (Foto: REUTERS/Kaylee Greenlee Beal)

Aunando a lo anterior, se difundió que los migrantes fueron identificados como ciudadanos de la Ciudad de México, el Estado de México, Guanajuato, Veracruz, Morelos, Zacatecas, Oaxaca y Querétaro.

Mientras tanto, el Departamento de Justicia de los Estados Unidos adelantó que ya fueron detenidas cuatro personas con relación a la tragedia. Se trató de Homero Zamorano, de 45 años y oriundo de la Brownsville, el cual fue acusado de presunto contrabando de extranjeros resultante en la muerte; Christian Martínez, de 28, acusado de probable asociación delictuosa.

Además de Juan Claudio D´Luna-Méndez, de 23; así como Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao, de 48 años, ambos identificados como ciudadanos mexicanos y acusados también de presumible asociación delictuosa.

Hasta el momento, se han identificado a 37 víctimas, por lo que el gobierno estadounidense se encuentra trabajando con los consulados de México, Honduras, Guatemala y El Salvador para identificar al resto de los fallecidos.

El día de la tragedia, cuando se hizo eco de la noticia, uno de los primeros en expresarse fue el jefe del Departamento de Bomberos de San Antonio, Charles Hood, quien detalló que se encontraron “montones de cuerpos”en el camión hallado la noche del lunes.

La caja del tráiler transportaba a 67 migrantes en total, de los cuales 46 fueron declarados muertos en el lugar, mientras que siete de los 16 personas encontradas con vida murieron después de ser llevados a hospitales. De los 16 sobrevivientes, en un primer momento se supo que tres eran de nacionalidad mexicana, aunque uno falleció posteriormente.

El gobierno mexicano comunicó que la Fiscalía General de la República (FGR) determinó iniciar con una carpeta de investigación; objetivo para el cual envió un equipo especializado rumbo a San Antonio, Texas, y recabar las pruebas pertinentes de lo que pudo ocurrir en México previo a la tragedia.

La participación de la institución a cargo de Alejandro Gertz Manero se aunaría a los trabajos que México y EEUU han emprendido en coordinación con el DHS (Departamento de Seguridad Nacional), según lo informado por el canciller Marcelo Ebrard.

Cuatro presuntos implicados fueron detenidos (Foto: REUTERS/Kaylee Greenlee Beal/File Photo)

Official: 27 dead migrants found in San Antonio believed to be Mexican

Mexico’s National Immigration Institute: 27 of the victims were from Mexico, 14 were from Honduras, 7 from Guatemala, 2 from El Salvador, 1 had no ID.

More than a day after the discovery of a stifling trailer in San Antonio, Texas, where 53 migrants died after being abandoned in the sweltering heat, few identities of the victims have been made public, illustrating the challenges authorities face in tracing people who cross borders clandestinely.

Victims have been found with no identification documents at all and in one case a stolen ID. Remote villages lack phone service to reach family members and determine the whereabouts of missing migrants. Fingerprint data has to be shared and matched by different governments.

The driver was apprehended after pretending he was one of the migrants, Garduño said. Two other Mexican men also have been detained, he said.

Among the dead were 27 people from Mexico, 14 from Honduras, seven from Guatemala and two from El Salvador, he said. One of the victims had no identification, Garduño said.

The tragedy occurred at a time when huge numbers of migrants have been coming to the U.S., many of them taking perilous risks to cross swift rivers and canals and scorching desert landscapes. Migrants were stopped nearly 240,000 times in May, up by one-third from a year ago.

With little information about the victims, desperate families of migrants from Mexico and Central America frantically sought word of their loved ones.

Several survivors were in critical condition with injuries such as brain damage and internal bleeding, according to Rubén Minutti, the Mexico consul general in San Antonio.

Guatemala’s foreign ministry said late Tuesday that it had confirmed two hospitalized Guatemalans and was working to identify three possible Guatemalans among the dead. Honduras’ foreign relations ministry said it was trying to confirm the identities of four victims carrying Honduran papers.

Eva Ferrufino, a Honduras’ foreign ministry spokesperson, said her agency was working with the Honduras Consulate in south Texas to match names, fingerprints, and complete identifications.

The process is painstaking because among the pitfalls are fake or stolen documents.

Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary identified two people who were hospitalized in San Antonio on Tuesday. But it turned out that one of the identification cards he shared on Twitter had been stolen last year in the southern state of Chiapas.

Haneydi Antonio Guzman, 23, was safe in a mountain community more than 1,300 miles away from San Antonio when she began receiving messages from family and friends. There is no phone signal there, but she has internet access.

Journalists started showing up at her parents’ home in Escuintla — the address on her ID that was stolen and found in the truck — expecting to find her worried relatives.

“That’s me on the ID, but I am not the person that was in the trailer and they say is hospitalized,” Antonio Guzman said.

“My relatives were contacting me worried, asking where I was,” she said. “I told them I was fine, that I was in my house, and I clarified it on my” Facebook page.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard deleted his tweet identifying her without comment. The other victim Ebrard identified turned out to be accurate.

In the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, municipal officials in San Miguel Huautla were traveling to the community of 32-year-old José Luis Vásquez Guzmán late Tuesday to find out if his mother wanted to travel to San Antonio to be with him in the hospital.

Manuel Velasco López, San Miguel Huautla’s municipal secretary, said that a cousin had been traveling with Vásquez Guzmán and was now considered missing.

Another cousin, Alejandro López, told Mexico’s Milenio television that their family worked in farming and construction and that they migrated because “we don’t have anything but weaving hats, palms and handicrafts.”

“Growing corn, wheat and beans is what we do in this region, and that leads to a lot of our people emigrating and going to the United States,” he said.

Miguel Barbosa, the governor of neighboring Puebla state, set off a scramble for information in the town of Izucar de Matamoros on Tuesday when he said two of the dead were from there although that had not been confirmed.

In the heavily migrant town, everyone was asking if their friends or neighbors were among the dead found in Texas.

Attempting to cross into the United States is such a tradition that most youths in the town at least consider it.

“All of the young people start to think about going (to the U.S.) as soon as they turn 18,” said migrant activist Carmelo Castañeda, who works with the nonprofit Casa del Migrante. “If there aren’t more visas, our people are going to keep dying.”

Migrants typically pay $8,000 to $10,000 to be taken across the border and loaded into a tractor-trailer and driven to San Antonio, where they transfer to smaller vehicles for their final destinations across the United States, said Craig Larrabee, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio.

Authorities think the truck discovered Monday had mechanical problems when it was left next to a railroad track in an area of San Antonio surrounded by auto scrapyards that brush up against a busy freeway, said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

In recent years, San Antonio has been a recurring scene of tragedy and desperation involving migrants in semitrailers.

Ten migrants died in 2017 after being trapped inside a truck parked at a San Antonio Walmart. In 2003, the bodies of 19 migrants were found in a sweltering truck southeast of the city.

Other tragedies have occurred before migrants reached the U.S. In December, more than 50 died when a semitrailer rolled over on a highway in southern Mexico.

During a vigil Tuesday at a San Antonio park, many of the more than 50 people who attended expressed sadness and anger at the deaths and what they described as a broken immigration system.

Back in Puebla, farmer Juan Sánchez Carrillo, 45, was sickened when he heard the news of the deaths in Texas.

He narrowly escaped death, when he and his friends ran away from dozing migrant rustlers in the mountains near Otay Mesa near San Diego.

“For the smugglers, we the migrants are not human,” Sánchez Carrillo said. “For them we are no more than merchandise.”

By: Alex Livingston, Rob Nelson, Associated Press, Newsy Staff

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

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