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Texas Migrant Deaths: Since 2000, Over 300 Migrants Died Due To Suffocation While Being Smuggled

By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

News18.com

Last Updated: June 28, 2022, 12:14 IST

Rose Perez holds her mother Scarlet Chavez, both members of families which reside in the area where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, US, as police officials survey the area (Image: Reuters)

Rose Perez holds her mother Scarlet Chavez, both members of families which reside in the area where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, US, as police officials survey the area (Image: Reuters)

Migrant crisis claimed more than 45,000 lives since 2014 according to International Organization for Migration (IOM). More than 300 have died due to suffocation since 2000

A global migrant crisis fuelled by wars, climate change and political upheavals continues to lead to deaths of several hundreds every year as people, mostly from countries of the global south, seek entry into developed countries to pursue a better life.

While nations continue to become increasingly conservative in terms of allowing refugees, many migrants are left with illegal options to enter developed economies which often lead to deaths and injuries.

Over the past five years, since immigration rules were tightened by the Trump administration, many migrants are using human smuggling routes to enter the US – leading to deaths.

Elsewhere also migrants have died while crossing into European nations following the war in Syria and the rise of ISIS.

In the aftermath of the 46 migrant deaths in Texas’ San Antonio, here are some of the incidents where migrants have died due to sufforcation while being smuggled from one country to another –

  1. June 27, 2022: At least 46 people, all suspected immigrants, died in the sweltering heat inside a tractor trailer in San Antonio, Texas.
  2. June 23, 2017: Eight immigrants were found dead inside a trailer at a San Antonio Walmart parking lot. Two people were hospitalized, both later died.
  3. February 20, 2017: 13 immigrants, mostly Malians, died due to suffocation as 69 migrants were packed inside a shipping container while being transported between two towns in Libya.
  4. August 27, 2015: Austria’s police officials found an abandoned truck with 71 dead bodies – all migrants. Eight children were also reported to be among those. The migrants were from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan
  5. April 4, 2009: More than 100 migrants were packed inside a shipping container and were smuggled into Pakistan of which 35 migrants, all Afghans, suffocated and died.
  6. April 9, 2008: 54 migrants were found dead in the back of an airtight refrigerated truck in Ranong, Thailand. All of them were Burmese.
  7. May 14, 2003: In Houston, Texas, 19 migrants died while they were being transported from South Texas to Houston.
  8. June 18, 2000: A truck was found in England’s Dover with 58 dead Chinese immigrants. The truck was from the Netherlands which transported the immigrants across the English Channel from Belgium. Two people survived.

While the above incidents only reflect on migrant deaths from suffocation, there are also a huge number of migrants who have died due to other reasons like capsizing of boats or after being exposed to sub-zero temperatures.

In 2022, more than 100 migrants drowned to death as their boats capsized across several locations like off the Floridian coastline, Tunisian coastline, English Channel, Greek coastline and Moroccan coastline.

More than 4,400 migrants died in 2021, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

(with inputs from Associated Press)

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first published:June 28, 2022, 10:07 IST
last updated:June 28, 2022, 12:14 IST