- A photo of the driver of the «trailer of death».
- He posed as one of the survivors.
- The tragedy irreparably ripped apart many families.
The tragedy that occurred in Texas involving a truck full of undocumented immigrants in search of the American Dream has caused outrage not only in the United States, but also in the countries from which the migrants came.
Shortly after the tragedy, in which at least 53 undocumented immigrants died trapped in the back of the so-called «trailer of death» was revealed, the government of the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, shared an image of the driver in his morning press conference.
What did the driver of the «trailer of death» do?
According to what was shown by the authorities, Homero Zamorano was smiling as he passed through a checkpoint at the border. One of the first police officers to arrive at the place where a migrant trailer was abandoned in San Antonio, Texas, had to call for more help when he saw what was inside.
“I have too many bodies here,” the officer said over the radio, according to the San Antonio Express News, which obtained the radio recordings from the police. There were dozens of bodies piled up, according to Agencia El Universal.
Police began to look for the driver of the trailer
At first there was talk of 20. As the hours passed, the count rose to 46, both inside and outside on the ground around the trailer. As of last Thursday, there were 53 deceased. Another 11 migrants are hospitalized. In total, 64 migrants were traveling in the trailer.
As emergency personnel approached the scene, the police asked over the radio to keep an eye out for the driver. One officer described him this way: “Large Hispanic male. He may be wearing a brown shirt.” He also said that he had been seen «running along the train tracks or near a mechanic shop, along the Nuevo Laredo highway.»
How they found the driver in the bushes
Another officer said the driver may have a rabbit tattoo on his neck and a teardrop tattoo on his face. Later, someone said the driver was wearing a white striped T-shirt. Zamorano was found hiding in the bushes, according to Agencia El Universal.
He attempted to pose as one of the survivors, but authorities recognized him based on a description and a photo that circulated of him crossing the Laredo checkpoint between 2 and 3 p.m. According to the authorities, the man, a US national, was under the influence of methamphetamine.
What will be the punishment for those responsible for the tragedy?
Zamorano appeared on Thursday before the federal court in San Antonio, where the charges against him were read. He is accused of transporting undocumented migrants resulting in death, he could face the death penalty if he is convicted, according to Agencia El Universal.
Zamorano’s cell phone messages led to Christian Martinez. They both reside in Palestine, in East Texas. Martinez is charged with conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants resulting in death. He also faces a possible death sentence or life in prison.
How did they manage to evade inspections?
According to the outlet, which cited a source close to the investigation, the traffickers scheduled their passage through the federal checkpoint, on Interstate 35, north of Laredo, to coincide with the shift change. The vehicle was not inspected, says Agencia El Universal.
The investigators believe that the traffickers were watching the checkpoint and were well aware of how it operated and when there were shift changes. Thus they evaded the inspection that could have prevented the tragedy that is now known as the «trailer of death.»