The children left in the hope of earning enough to support their siblings and parents. Young adults who made sacrifices to attend college, thinking it would lead to success, became disillusioned with their country. A man already working in the US, who has returned to visit his wife and children, decides to pick up a cousin upon his return to the US
as families of more than 60 people packed in a tractor-trailer andHis worst fears were confirmed in Texas on Monday and as his relatives began to talk, a general narrative of pursuing a better life from Honduras to Mexico emerged.
Thirty-three of those migrants went into the sweltering heat on the outskirts of San Antonio.While others remained hospitalised. The difficult process of identification is on, but the families are confirming their loss.
Francisco Garduno, head of Mexico’s National Immigration Institute, said the dead included 27 people from Mexico, 14 from Honduras, seven from Guatemala and two from El Salvador.
Everyone surrendered their lives to the smugglers. News of trailers full of dead bodies caused panic in cities and villages accustomed to abandoning their young people trying to flee poverty or violence in Central America and Mexico.
In Las Vegas, Honduras, a city of 10,000 people about 50 miles south of San Pedro Sula, 23-year-old Alejandro Miguel Andino Caballero, 23-year-old Alejandro Miguel Andino Caballero, and 24-year-old Margi Tamara Paz Grajeda, believed that their degree in marketing track and economics opened doors for them. Will open economic stability.
Already together for almost a decade, the young couple has applied for jobs with companies in recent years. But time and again he was denied.
Hit by the pandemic, the storm devastated the northern part of the country and left them disillusioned.
So when a relative of Andino Caballero living in the United States offered to help him and his younger brother, 18-year-old Fernando Jose Redondo Caballero, they were ready to travel north.
“You think that when people have a higher level of education, they have more job opportunities,” said Caron Caballero, the brothers’ mother. “Because that’s why they work, study.”
Caballero didn’t feel like she could stop them anymore, including 24-year-old Paz Grajeda, who lived with Alejandro at her mother’s house and whom Caballero referred to as his daughter-in-law, although she was not married.
“We all planned it as a family so that they could have a separate life, so that they could achieve goals, dreams,” Caballero said.
When they left Las Vegas on June 4, Caballero accompanied them to Guatemala. From there, the young trio were smuggled in the back of semi-trailers to Guatemala and then to Mexico.
“I thought things were going to be good,” she said. “Alejandro Miguel who was a little scared. He said, ‘Mom, if anything happens to us.’ And I told him, ‘Nothing’s going to happen, nothing’s going to happen. You’re not the first person to travel to the United States, and you’re not going to be the last.'”
Caballero last spoke to him on Saturday morning. They told him they had crossed the Rio Grande at Roma, Texas, headed to Laredo and expected to head north to Houston on Monday.
She had just reached home on Monday evening when someone asked her to turn on the TV. “I couldn’t process it,” she said of seeing reports about the trailer in San Antonio. “Then I remembered how my sons had traveled, that they were in trucks from all the way to Guatemala and Mexico.”
Caballero was able to confirm his death on Tuesday after sending his description and photos to San Antonio.
Alejandro Miguel was known to be creative, cheerful, all-embracing and a good dancer. Fernando Jose was enthusiastic and kind, ready to help anyone in need. He imitated his older brother in everything from his haircut to his clothes. He was passionate about football, filling his mother’s house with slogans.
The death of her sons and Paz Grajeda looking like a daughter are devastating. “My kids leave a void in my heart,” she said. “We will miss them dearly.”
About 400 miles away, prospects were considerably more narrow for 13-year-old cousins Wilmar Tulul and Pascual Melvin Guachiac, of Tzuqubal, Guatemala.
Tzuqubal is an indigenous Quiche community of about 1,500 people in the mountains about 100 miles northwest of the capital, where most live from subsistence farming.
“Mom, we’re going out,” was the last message Wilmer sent Monday to his mother, Magdalena Tepaz, in her native quiche. He left the house on June 14.
Hours after hearing that audio message, a neighbor told the family that there had been an accident in San Antonio and that they feared most, Tepaz said through a translator.
Melvin’s mother, Maria Sipac Koz, said the boys had grown up and did everything together: playing, going out, even making plans to move to the United States, even if she didn’t speak Spanish well.
A single mother of two, she said that Melvin “wanted to study in the United States, then work and build her own home.” She received a voice message from her son on Monday saying they were leaving. She has erased it because she could no longer stand to hear it.
Relatives who arranged and paid for the smuggler waited for the boys in Houston. Those relatives told him of his death, and the Guatemalan government confirmed it on Wednesday.
Wilmer’s father, Manuel de Jesus Tulul, couldn’t stop crying on Wednesday. He said he didn’t know how the boys would get to Houston, but never thought they’d be put in the trailer. His son had dropped out of school after primary and joined his father, clearing the field for planting.
Tulul said that Wilmer did not see a future for himself in a city where modest houses were built with remittances sent from the United States. He wanted to help support his three siblings and someday have his own house and land.
The smuggler charged $6,000, of which he had paid almost half. Now Tulul was only thinking of taking back his son’s body and was hoping that the government would bear the expenses.
In Mexico, cousins Javier Flores López and José Luis Vasquez Guzmán also left the small community of Cerro Verde in the southern state of Oaxaca, hoping to help their families. They were on their way to Ohio, where construction and other work awaits.
Flores López is now missing, his family said, while Vasquez Guzmán is hospitalized in San Antonio.
Cerro Verde is a community of about 60 people largely abandoned by youth. Those who earn a meager livelihood by weaving sun hats, mats, brooms and other items from palm leaves. Many live on at least 30 pesos (less than $2) a day.
It wasn’t the first trip to the US-Mexico border for Flores López, now in her mid-30s, who left Cerro Verde years ago to move to Ohio, where her father and a brother live.
A cousin, Francisco López Hernández, said he was back home to see his wife and three young children briefly. Vasquez Guzmán, 32, decided to accompany his cousin for his first trip across the border and hopes to reach his oldest brother who is also in Ohio.
While everyone knew the risks, countless people from Cerro Verde had made it safely across the US-Mexico border with the help of smugglers, so it came as a shock, López Hernández said, to learn that Vasquez Guzmán was among those packed into the trailer. Abandoned on Monday near the auto salvage yard. The family believes Flores López was there too, but they are still waiting for confirmation.
Vasquez Guzmán’s mother had intended to obtain a visa to visit her hospitalized son, but on Wednesday he was released from intensive care and was able to speak to him on the phone. Aida Ruiz, director of the Oaxaca Institute for Migrant Attention, said she decided to stay in Mexico and wait for her to recover.
López Hernández said most people rely on people who have made them America to send money for travel, which usually costs around $9,000.
“There are a lot of risks but for those who are lucky, there is luck, to be able to work, to earn a living,” he said.
two accused in the incidentThe Justice Department said on Wednesday.
Texas native Homero Zamorano, the alleged truck driver, was arrested Wednesday on criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in a deadly smuggling operation. According to the Justice Department, if convicted, the 45-year-old Pasadena resident faces the prospect of life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Christian Martinez, 28, was also charged after federal law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on a cell phone belonging to Zamorano. According to the DOJ, investigators found communications between him and Martinez in which they discussed the attempted smuggling.