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Lady who was inside semi-trailer the place 53 migrants died says pal’s recommendation could have saved her life: “They could not breathe”


Easy recommendation from a pal to remain close to the door could have saved Yenifer Yulisa Cardona Tomás from the lethal destiny that befell 53 different migrants after they had been deserted trapped in a sweltering semi-trailer final week on the sting of San Antonio.

Talking by telephone from her hospital mattress Monday, the 20-year-old from Guatemala’s capital stated it was already sizzling on June 27 when she stepped out of the warehouse on the Texas facet of the Mexico border the place she had been ready and climbed into the again of the trailer.

Guatemala US Migrants Death
Mynor Cardona reveals a photograph on his cellphone of her daughter, Yenifer Yulisa Cardona Tomas, on the hospital whereas receiving a go to, in Guatemala Metropolis, Monday, July 4, 2022. 

Oliver de Ros / AP


She stated the smugglers confiscated their cellphones and lined the trailer’s flooring with what she believes was powdered hen bouillon, apparently to throw off any canines at checkpoints. As she sat stuffed contained in the stifling trailer with dozens of others, the powder stung her pores and skin.

Remembering her pal’s warning to remain close to the door the place it could be cooler, Cardona Tomás shared the recommendation with one other pal she had made in the course of the journey.

“I advised a pal that we should not go to the again and may keep close to (the doorway), in the identical place with out transferring,” stated Cardona Tomás, who’s being handled at Methodist Hospital Metropolitan in San Antonio. That pal survived, too.

Because the truck moved on, making further stops to select up extra migrants, individuals started to cluster close to the door like Cardona Tomás. She had no technique to observe the time.

“The individuals had been yelling, some cried. Largely ladies had been calling for it to cease and to open the doorways as a result of it was sizzling, that they could not breathe,” she stated, nonetheless laboring a bit to talk after being intubated on the hospital.

She stated the driving force or another person within the cab yelled again that “we had been about to reach, that there have been 20 minutes left, six minutes.”

“Individuals requested for water, some had run out, others carried some,” she stated.

The truck would proceed stopping often, however simply earlier than she misplaced consciousness it was transferring slowly. She awakened within the hospital.

The driving force and three others had been arrested and charged by U.S. prosecutors.

Guatemala’s International Ministry has stated that 20 Guatemalans died within the incident, 16 of whom have been positively recognized. International Minister Mario Búcaro stated he hoped the primary our bodies can be repatriated this week.

Cardona Tomás stated the truck’s vacation spot that day was Houston, although she was finally headed to North Carolina.

“She did not have a job and requested me if I might help her” in migrating to the U.S., her father, Mynor Cardona, stated Monday in Guatemala Metropolis, the place the household lives. He stated he knew of different instances of kids who simply left with out telling their households and ended up disappearing or dying so he determined to again her.

He paid $4,000 for a smuggler – lower than half the entire value – to take her to the U.S. She left Guatemala on Might 30, touring in automobiles, buses and eventually the semi-trailer in Texas.

“I did not know that she would journey in a trailer,” he stated. “She advised us it could be by foot. It looks as if on the final second the smugglers determined to place (her) within the trailer, together with two extra buddies, who survived. Certainly one of them remains to be in vital situation.”

Cardona had stayed in contact along with his daughter up till the morning of June 27. Her final message to him that Monday was at 10:28 a.m. in Guatemala, or 11:28 a.m. in Texas. “We will go in an hour,” she wrote.

It was not till late that evening that Cardona Tomás’ household realized of the deserted trailer. It was two extra days earlier than relations in the US confirmed that she was alive and hospitalized.

“We cried a lot,” Cardona stated. “I even was pondering the place we had been going to have the wake and bury her. She is a miracle.”

Guatemala US Migrants Death
Mynor Cardona, Yenifer Yulisa Cardona Tomas’ father, listens to a query throughout an interview in Guatemala Metropolis, Monday, July 4, 2022. 

Oliver de Ros / AP




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