Mexican authorities capture 12 in tractor-trailer deaths

| 8/14/2003

Agents in four Mexican states captured a dozen people accused of organizing a smuggling operation that killed 19 undocumented migrants who died of heat after being locked inside an 18-wheeler’s trailer, The Associated Press reported.

Mexican authorities have issued arrest warrants for 25 other alleged migrant smugglers who played a role in what became one of the deadliest border crossings in U.S. history.

More than 70 migrants from Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic were being transported from the Rio Grande Valley to Houston in a trailer on the night of May 13.

Seventeen immigrants were found dead after authorities discovered the trailer outside a Victoria, TX, truckstop. Two others died after being hospitalized. The victims, including a 5-year-old Mexican boy, died from dehydration, hypothermia and suffocation.

Victims' family members and migrants who survived the deadly journey led investigators to others involved, press reports said.