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Guatemala’s President Calls for Harder Sentences Against Human Trafficking in the Wake of San Antonio Tragedy

Presidente de Guatemala pide endurecer penas contra el tráfico de personas tras la tragedia de San Antonio

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The President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, lamented on Tuesday the death of 50 immigrants crammed in a truck-trailer found on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas, and called for harder sentences against human trafficking.

“It is unforgivable that innocent lives continue to be lost to migrant smuggling! My condolences to the families of the deceased in Texas,” Giammattei wrote on social networks. He is in Washington on a working tour focused on the immigration issue.

In the same message, the Guatemalan president considered that “it is imperative to find mechanisms to harden the sentences” and that human trafficking “be a crime subject to extradition.”

According to Mexican authorities, among the 50 dead at least 22 are Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans.

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Additionally, 16 people were found alive in the truck and in need of medical assistance.

The area where the trailer was located is a common place where vehicles stop to unload immigrants after clandestine border crossings. Temperatures in San Antonio reached 40ºC on Monday.

Giammattei is in Washington for a meeting with members of the Department of Homeland Security and attend an extraordinary assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS.)