Social Issues

Guatemalan teen who died in Texas truck tragedy laid to rest

By Esteban Biba

Nahuala, Guatemala, Jul 16 (EFE).- Family and friends of the 13-year-old Guatemalan boy who died last month along with 52 other migrants in an overheated tractor-trailer in Texas said their final farewells here Saturday.

Following a tearful procession accompanied by a brass band, Pascual Melvin Guachiac Sipac was laid to rest at the cemetery in Nahuala, an indigenous community some 150 km (90 mi) west of Guatemala City.

More than 100 people joined the family in mourning Pascal, whose body arrived in Guatemala on Friday.

“I have no words,” his father, Casimiro Guachiac, told journalists at the airport in the capital while waiting for the plane carrying Pascual’s remains.

The teen was the first of the 21 Guatemalan victims of the June 27 tragedy in Texas to be repatriated.

The 53 migrants, including people from Mexico and Honduras, succumbed to heat and lack of air after the migrant traffickers they paid to get them into the United States abandoned the tractor-trailer in San Antonio.

The bodies of two other victims, Juan Wilmer Tulul Tepaz, 14; and Jonny Tziquin Tzoc, 17; arrived Saturday in Guatemala City.

Officials and experts estimate that every year, more than 300,000 Guatemalans try to reach the US in pursuit of better opportunities. That total includes thousands of unaccompanied minors sent north by their parents. EFE eb-jcm/dr

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