Company says truck with dozens of dead people inside was 'cloned': Report

Posted at 12:58 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 13:58:49-04

The owners of a South Texas trucking company said that a semitruck found Monday night in San Antonio with a trailer containing the bodies of dozens of immigrants was “cloned,” the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday.

The truck in San Antonio had the same color and identifying numbers from the federal Department of Transportation and the Texas DOT as a Betancourt Trucking and Harvesting truck, the Alamo-based trucking company’s owners said. But the cloned truck does not bear the company’s logo, as the business’ other trucks do.

One of the owners said the company’s truck has not been to San Antonio recently and has been hauling grain from Harlingen to Progreso.

“Our [refrigerated trailer] is sitting right in the yard,” Felipe Betancourt Jr. told the Express-News. “That one in San Antonio is not our trailer.”

At least 50 people have been found dead in the the rig. At least 16 other migrants were also hospitalized.

The immigrants are believed to be from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

Officials with Homeland Security Investigations have taken over the investigation.

At his daily press conference, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed condolences to the families of those who died and said his government will be investigating the deaths of 22 Mexican citizens and helping their families return their bodies home.

“This is bitter proof that we must continue to insist on supporting people so that they do not have to leave their villages to look for a life on the other side of the border,” López Obrador said.

In a tweet, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei called for tougher criminal penalties for human smugglers: “It is inexcusable that innocent lives continue to be lost to migrant smuggling! My condolences to the families of the deceased in Texas.”

Pope Francis called for prayers for the victims in San Antonio — as well as the 18 migrants who died Friday while trying to enter Spain from Morocco.

"Let us #PrayTogether for these brothers and sisters who died following their hope of a better life; and for ourselves, may the Lord might open our hearts so these misfortunes never happen again," the pope tweeted Tuesday.

"Company says truck with dozens of dead people inside was “cloned,” according to report" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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