At least 39 men and 12 women, most of whom were citizens of Mexico, were found dead in an industrial area on the outskirts of San Antonio. They were found in the back of an abandoned sweltering tractor-trailer truck some 160miles away from the US-Mexico border.
Temperatures teetered towards 40C and local authorities said there were no signs of water or visible means of air-conditioning inside the truck.
Craig Larrabee, an acting special agent in charge of the investigative arm of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), claimed the incident was the greatest loss of life on record from a human trafficking attempt in the United States.
According to court documents and American authorities, Mexican citizens Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao and Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez have been charged with possessing firearms while residing in the US.
A third suspect, who is believed to be an American citizen and driver of the truck, has been taken into custody.
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A Mexican official has claimed he was still hospitalised as of Tuesday evening but is expected to be charged.
Joe Biden has faced criticism following the incident.
However, the 79-year-old US President called it “horrifying and heartbreaking”.
He added: “Exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful.”
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