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Anger, pain at vigil for migrants who died in tractor trailer in Texas

#Anger #pain #vigil #migrants #died #tractor #trailer #Texas

Dozens of people held a vigil for 51 migrants who died when they were dumped in a stiflingly hot semi-truck in Texas near the border with Mexico.

A heavy downpour forced organizers to hold Tuesday night’s ceremony in a park rather than outdoors. Cell phone flashlights replaced the candles the mourners wanted to light.

People expressed their anger and sadness at the deaths of these travelers who, like many thousands every year, make a very dangerous trek in search of a better life in the United States.

President Joe Biden blamed professional people smugglers for the tragedy near San Antonio.

US officials did not provide a breakdown of the dead by age, gender or nationality. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said of the dead whose identities are known, 22 were from Mexico, seven from Guatemala and two from Honduras.

At the vigil, people formed a circle and took turns calling on US authorities to change their immigration policies or calling on others to pray for the dead migrants.

“It hurts a lot,” said Andrea Osorio, a 48-year-old Mexican.

“I’ve lived here undocumented for 33 years, in fear every day,” she said. “And I know why we’re coming. We don’t come to commit crimes, we just come for a better future.”

People of all ages – elderly, young and small children with their parents – attended the ceremony.

So did San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who listened to comments from others but said nothing publicly himself.

– ‘Breaks my heart’ –

Carlos Eduardo Espina, 23 and originally from Uruguay but here since he was five, has criticized US immigration policies as cruel.

“It’s horrible and it breaks my heart,” said Espina, whose father is Uruguayan and mother is Mexican. “But every day people drown in the river, every day people die in the desert. Death is the norm in immigration to the United States.”

He said US immigration policies should be more humanitarian, allowing more entry visas each year.

“We have to keep fighting because this is going to continue,” said Espina, who works on immigration issues. He accused the governments of the emigration countries in Latin America of not taking care of their people.

Not far from the vigil crowd, Guillermina Barron, a 38-year-old Mexican woman, listened in silence.

“Unfortunately, because I’m Mexican, I identify a lot with what’s happening, even though I emigrated here 20 years ago,” she told AFP with tears in her eyes.

“I feel pain and I am very powerless. Many things have to change because many lives have been lost.”

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#Anger #pain #vigil #migrants #died #tractor #trailer #Texas

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