She Told Sons: 'I Hope You Triumph.' They Died in the Truck

Tractor-trailer with migrants had passed through federal checkpoint hours earlier
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2022 10:25 AM CDT
She Told Sons: 'I Hope You Triumph.' They Died in the Truck
In this undated photo provided by Karen Caballero, her son Alejandro Miguel Andino Caballero and his now-wife, Margie Tamara Paz, pose for a photo at an undisclosed location in Honduras.   (Caballero Family via AP)

(Newser) – Among the 53 people who died from extreme heat inside a tractor-trailer in San Antonio this week are two boys from southwestern Guatemala, ages 13 and 14, and a pair of brothers from northwestern Honduras who'd hoped to buy their mother a home. Karen Caballero says her sons, Fernando Jose Redondo Caballero and Alejandro Miguel Andino Caballero, had been "so excited" at the prospect of going north for better opportunities. "Every day, they asked me, 'Mom, when are we going to go?'" a tearful Caballero told Telemundo News, via NBC News. "They said, 'Mami, when we're there we'll buy you a casita [home],' and I said, 'I won't need a casita, because you won't be here.'"

Before the men, ages 19 and 22, left their town on June 4, Cabellero told them to focus. "I hope you triumph," she added. The Honduran government has since confirmed the siblings were among the dead. Their identification documents and those of Andino's wife, 24-year-old Margie Tamara Paz, were inside the truck allegedly driven by 45-year-old Homero Zamorano, one of four people charged in the case and one of two who could face the death penalty if convicted. It's unclear when the migrants had boarded. One mother in Mexico, who fears her son was inside the truck, last heard from him on June 19 when he was hiding in a house in Texas, per Reuters.

The truck had stopped on the side of a road in San Antonio about three hours after it reportedly passed through a federal checkpoint in Encinal, about 40 miles from the border, as it headed north along Interstate 35, per the New York Times. "Roughly 20,000 trucks pass through the corridor from Laredo to San Antonio every day," according to the outlet, which notes only those vehicles considered suspicious are searched. Officials say the truck, with Texas plates, was "cloned" to appear as though it was legally registered. Putting the blame on President Biden's immigration policies, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said state police will create their own checkpoints to inspect trucks, though the strategy could result in traffic delays and economic damage. (Read more San Antonio stories.)

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