Dozens gather at vigil for smuggling victims in SW Houston

Dozen of people gathered in southwest Houston for a vigil to remember the victims of the human smuggling victims.

HOUSTON - People in Houston are remembering the victims of San Antonio's truck smuggling operation. A vigil was held in southwest Houston Tuesday night. 

"It's really hard and nobody understands our pain," said one of the speakers outside FIEL Houston's headquarters on Harwin.

The organization, known for advocating for immigrant rights, offered prayers for the ten lives lost in San Antonio.

One woman attending told KHOU she crossed the border in 2003 and also ended up in a truck that stopped in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio.

"It was very ugly since the beginning," said Mirza Gutierrez, an immigrant.

She left the violence of Guatemala for a gamble on a new life.

"They took me there on a trailer," said Gutierrez.

She says she paid a smuggler $5,000 to take her across the border. Gutierrez found herself in a stash house in Laredo, before ending up in the parking lot of a San Antonio Walmart. A similar spot where we lost 10 lives this week.

Each life remembered by this woman because it could have easily been her life lost chasing the American dream.

"Unfortunately our people continue to live very poorly and the rich continue to get richer and the pain the immigrants face everyday," said Gutierrez.

We asked Gutierrez about her current status. She told KHOU she tried applying for political asylum, but she was denied.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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