Texas: Texas Migrants Die: "I Still Have to Bring My Children Home"

Karen Caballero felt a "unexplained heavy feeling" in her chest on 25 June.

Texas: Texas Migrants Die: "I Still Have to Bring My Children Home"

Karen Caballero felt a "unexplained heavy feeling" in her chest on 25 June. Her children were not in touch.

Two days later, at 8pm, she received an alert on her mobile phone.

Dozens upon dozens of migrants died from heat in an abandoned truck near San Antonio, Texas. It was just over 100 miles from the US-Mexico border.

Ms Caballero panicked and searched Google and Facebook for phone numbers of Honduran consulates, hospitals, and police stations. To find out if her sons and daughter in law could have been among the victims.

It was 2 am and nobody was answering.

Since then, it has been revealed that Margie Paz, Alejandro Andino Caballero (24), and Fernando Redondo Caballero (18) - Ms Caballero’s relatives – were among 53 migrants who died in the lorry carrying 62 migrants from Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The temperatures were so high that they died in a trailer without ventilation.

Ms Caballero, speaking to BBC, asked: "How could I, as an overprotective mother, let this happen to me children?"

"If my children didn't return by 8 p.m. at night, I was able to walk out to search for them until they returned home."

She says she hasn't had time to cry because of the constant phone calls from friends and family.

She said that "anyone who believes: 'This women does not hurt, and this woman doesn't suffer' is wrong."

"The truth is, I must stay strong because this is what I have to do. "As a mother, I still need to bring my children home."

The identities of some of those 53 migrants who died in the truck accident in San Antonio earlier this week have begun to leak out.

These images portray a region of mostly poor people looking for new opportunities and a chance to start over.

Mexican authorities claimed Wednesday that there were 67 migrants in the lorry. San Antonio prosecutors however, have placed the figure at 64.

The Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office stated Wednesday that it had "potentially identified" most of Monday's victims.

The victims include 27 Mexican citizens, 14 Hondurans and seven Guatemalans.

However, it must cooperate with consulates and foreign entities. The medical examiner's Office stated that it has not yet made any "conclusive IDs".

According to Tom Peine, a spokesperson for the office, "False identification can have serious consequences." "We are taking great care in this process."

There were 13 females and 40 males among those who died.

Alejandro Caballero, Ms Caballero's husband Margie, and Fernando, his brother, both left Las Vegas, north-western Honduras, to go to the USA with their son Alejandro.

The young couple met while they were studying together at an Adventist school Las Vegas de Santa Barbara, which is 125 miles away from Tegucigalpa.

"They were married at school, using paper rings. She said that they were 17-18 years old.

Margie continued her studies at the Autonomous University of Honduras in economics. Alejandro studied marketing at the University of San Pedro Sula.

They traveled over 60 miles (100 km) each day from their village to San Pedro Sula. It took them several hours to travel by bus for the first lesson.

They stayed in San Pedro Sula in search of work, but they couldn't find any. Ms Caballero stated that operators in call centres were the best job for them.

She remembered the joy that young couples experienced when they purchased their first refrigerator. She said that each appliance, each piece, strengthened her conviction that she and her husband made the right decision to go to university and build a career.

However, their salaries declined due to economic hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and they couldn't afford rent. She said that they "had dreams and had goals as a couple," but could not find work despite having received academic degrees.

Fernando Caballero, Ms Caballero’s youngest son, had to leave school because of the lockdown as his family's finances deteriorated.

He said to her, "Imagine, Mummy, if there is no job here for those who study. What will happen to me not having studied?"

She said that he had decided to go to the US. He initially planned to travel solo, but his older brother, and sister-in law, agreed to go with him.

They collected money from their families and sought out people who could take them to the US.

To say goodbye, she took a taxi from Guatemala with her sons-in-law and daughter-in law. Before continuing to Mexico, they toured Antigua.

They communicated with Ms Caballero via WhatsApp for 20 days to keep her updated on the latest news and then lost touch.

There are still questions about the circumstances and identities of the migrants who were smuggled into Mexico with Ms Caballero's family.

In connection with the operation, three people were arrested. A federal investigation by the US is underway.

According to her cousin, Adela Betulia RAMIrez, a 28-year-old Honduran national who fled Omoa's small beach town on 26 May has been identified as one of the victims.

She had planned to travel to Los Angeles to visit her fiance, mother, and siblings.

Officials from Guatemala announced Wednesday that two teenage boys from Guatemala, aged 13-14, were among the victims.

Pascual Melvin Guachiac was a cousin to Juan Wilmer Tulul, Pascual's mother said.

Just hours before the lorry was found abandoned, the teenagers had informed their family that they were heading for San Antonio.

Jose Luis Vasquez Guzman (31 years old) was one of the few who survived the fatal voyage. He started his journey from Cerro Verde in Mexico, a remote farming community.

Guzman, an army vet, was dehydrated in the lorry that was found in San Antonio Monday. He is currently being treated in a local hospital.

Oaxaca's government claims to be looking for a humanitarian visa for Mr Guzman’s mother in order to be at her son's side in hospital.

According to reports, the injured migrant was believed to have traveled to the US border along his cousin Javier Flores Lopez. His whereabouts are unknown at this time.

Mobile phone coverage is limited in the Cerro Verde area. Family members must typically travel 37 miles to Nochixtlan to find out about migrant relatives.

On 19 June, Mr Lopez called to report that he had crossed into America and was hiding in Texas. He has not been heard of since.

Many expressed surprise at the fate of their relatives, despite the obvious dangers of crossing the border.

Noel Diaz (a US-based Mexican) was one of them. He was there on Wednesday to help his brother return to Oaxaca.

"The people who brought him here lied to us," Mr Diaz said to El Universal Mexico.

"They never claimed that he was there [in his truck] but we had the news. He was supposed to arrive more comfortably.

Josue Diaz has left behind a wife, and a son.

Ms Caballero is still unsure when her sons-in-law and daughters-in-law's bodies will be returned to Honduras.

She was talking to BBC when she got a call. She said, "It's from The Presidential Palace." "I'll call your back."

Bernd Debusmann, Sam Cabral and other reporters

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