The death toll of the human trafficking truck that was discovered in San Antonio, Texas on Monday has risen to 51 dead, with two Mexican nationals being charged by U.S. officials for their role in the deaths of these migrants.

Juan Claudio D'Luna-Mendez and Juan Francisco D'Luna-Bilbao, two Mexican nationals residing in the U.S. illegally, were charged with possession of a weapon by an alien illegally in the United States, with them being found through the registration of the truck that contained the migrants, according to CNN.

The truck killed 51 people, which reportedly broke down to 39 males and 12 females with a couple of the victims being under the age of 18. The temperatures in Texas had risen to 103 degrees when the bodies were first discovered, and they were reportedly hot to the touch when authorities first arrived at the scene, the Daily Beast reported.

“It is something to see the pile of bodies, it’s... shocking,” activist Alex Salgado said. “I’ve never in my life seen anything like that. And I’m also a migrant. Some people who were there said that they heard when [the migrants] were yelling for help.”

Salgado is now currently working with the migrants’ rights group Fuerza Catracha to ensure that the survivors of the incident received the proper support and trauma counseling, worried about their deportation. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), however, made sure to say that the tragedy was a “protected area” from potential deportation for the people involved.

“To the fullest extent possible, ICE and CBP will not conduct immigration enforcement activities so individuals, regardless of immigration status, can seek assistance, and otherwise address the tragedy with law enforcement,” they said in a statement.

Many have been shocked at the extent of the deaths from the migrants entering the country, with some government officials denouncing the rise of criminal organizations that made it more dangerous to cross the U.S. border illegally.

“This is the worst human-smuggling event in the United States. This sheds light on how dangerous human smuggling is,” Homeland Security Agent Craig Larrabee said. “In the past, smuggling organizations were mom and pop. Now they are organized and tied in with the cartels. So you have a criminal organization who has no regard for the safety of the migrants.”

U.S. President Joe Biden has also made a statement denouncing the criminal rings behind the incident, saying that “[exploiting] vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful” while promising to stop human traffickers at the border.

Two Mexican nationals were arrested on Monday due to their affiliation with a human trafficking incident that killed over 51 people inside of a hot truck in Texas during the summer. This is a representational image. Rhys Moult/Unsplash.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.