The driver of the truck where 53 migrants died near the city of San Antonio, Texas, did not realize that the vehicle’s air conditioning system had broken, according to federal court documents. The information appears in the records that explain why investigators arrested Christian Martinez, 28, one of the suspects involved in the tragedy.
The document states that an informant revealed to security agents about an alleged conversation with Martinez, in which he would have identified Homero Zamorano, 45, as the driver of the vehicle and said that he “did not know that the air conditioning unit stopped working.” work and that was the reason why the [passageiros] died”.
Zamorano’s identity was confirmed after checking security cameras at border checkpoints. He was found hiding in bushes and tried to impersonate one of the victims.
The records also point out that Zamorano sent text messages to Martinez before and after discovering the deaths in the group he was transporting. The texts included a message containing an abbreviation asking “where are you?” sent at the time authorities located the truck abandoned on the road and the bodies. From there, investigators began to suspect that Martinez was involved in the case.
Zamorano and Martinez are charged with crimes related to human trafficking resulting in death, and could face life imprisonment or the death penalty. Two other men of Mexican origin, Juan Claudio D’Luna Mendez, 23, and Juan Francisco D’Luna Bilbao, 48, were arrested and charged with illegally remaining in the US and illegally carrying weapons after investigators found them at an address linked to the truck. They can face up to ten years in prison. The four are in custody without bail.
The truck was transporting at least 64 migrants from countries such as Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Among the victims, there are 40 men and 13 women. Another 11 survivors were hospitalized for heat-related health issues.
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