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‘VIP trips’ cost migrants their lives in Texas smuggling tragedy

‘VIP trips’ cost migrants their lives in Texas smuggling tragedy

AT first, Mexican migrants Pablo Ortega and Julio Lopez enjoyed the smuggling equivalent of a first-class ticket to the United States: complimentary beers, safe houses with video games, even a week at a hunting ranch. Both had borrowed thousands of dollars and paid extra to secure what smugglers promised would be a comfortable trip avoiding the worst dangers of illegal border crossings. On June 27, their special treatment ended: crammed and gasping for air in the back of a sweltering tractor-trailer in Texas with more than 60 other migrants. Nearly all, including Ortega and Lopez, died in the suffocating heat.…
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