Wife’s tragic $18k twist after husband died in Texas smuggling tragedy

·2-min read

The family of a Mexican farm worker who died in a trailer in the San Antonio migrant tragedy that killed 53 people reportedly paid close to $18,000 for his safe arrival.

Julio Lopez, aged 33, was promised a trouble-free journey to the USA, as well as legal residency, before he died of asphyxiation along with 52 other migrants.

"They said it was a VIP trip," his wife, Adriana Gonzalez, said.

Wife Adriana Gonzalez has opened up about her husband's death. Source: Australscope/ Newsflash
Wife Adriana Gonzalez has opened up about her husband's death. Source: Australscope/ Newsflash

This was after Lopez had accepted an invitation from his mother in Louisiana to move to the US during a phone call last month in order to afford the monthly treatments costing MXN 4,000 ($285) for his autistic four-year-old son.

Lopez then left his hometown of La Trinitaria, in Mexico's impoverished Chiapas state, and travelled to the north-eastern city of Monterrey, where he met with a human trafficker known as Luis 'El Blanquito' (White Boy).

Julio Lopez was sold a 'VIP trip' as he smuggled into the US. Source: Australscope/ Newsflash
Julio Lopez was sold a 'VIP trip' as he smuggled into the US. Source: Australscope/ Newsflash

Lopez reportedly paid the trafficker MXN 250,000 ($17,820) for the journey, as well as US residency papers.

After they reached the border city of Reynosa, Lopez sailed via speedboat across the Rio Grande, a 1,885-mile-long river that partly forms the Mexico-United States border.

He then advised his wife that the 'coyotes' had taken their phones away so border control could not track their movements.

Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Kaylee Greenlee Beal     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio. Source: Reuters

After not hearing from her husband for several days, Gonzalez phoned her mother-in-law, who reassured her that the family man was "in safe hands".

Government employees then contacted Gonzalez to ask for her husband's identifying features.

A tattoo on his arm confirmed that he was one of the victims who died in the smuggling tragedy late last month.

- Australscope/ Newsflash

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