Laredo funeral home helps with moving migrant who died in San Antonio

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 5:53 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - The bodies of the 53 migrants who died during one of the deadliest human smuggling attempts in San Antonio are now being sent back to their homes.

On Wednesday, a Mexican plane transported the remains of 16 people back to their families; however, transporting them has been quite a challenge which is why one Laredo funeral home has decided to help.

Feliciano Gamez with the Gamez and Sons Funeral Home says, “To find the words to express that it’s a bit difficult, you say honor or privilege, but it’s a tragedy. I supposed somebody has to help, somebody has to do it, and the funeral homes and the mortuary services.”

The bodies were taken to a San Antonio airport where Mexican federal authorities will fly them to their homeland and from there will be sent to their own families.

While 26 bodies to a plane was a challenge for the river city, so they requested help from a Laredo funeral home.

Gamez says, “Lisa Hardin, from Harding Mortuary Services contacted us to see if we can help with at least one hearst and help them transport to the airport so we said yes.”

Feliciano Gamez, the owner of Gamez and Sons Funeral Services says it was an honor to help Hardin Mortuary Services and the Mexican consulate to move the bodies of those who died on that day but it’s hard to put the emotion into words.

“You don’t realize how momentous the event is until you are there, you kind of see the plane pull around, you see this giant-army plane from Mexico that’s pulling around and opening in the back and they start loading it, I was the last one to be loaded”, said Gamez.

Feliciano says he has seen an increase in migrant deaths this year. It’s a challenge for him and others in his profession to send bodies back home.

“I’m fairly sure that we’ve all seen an Uptick, because it’s only natural that we see more people crossing unfortunately some of them may pass away in the process. We’ve been doing an average of doing 10 a year at the most, but we’ve been doing two to four a month. It’s a lengthy process, and for the families it can be very frustrating”, said Gamez.

According to the Mexican Consulate in San Antonio, only 23 bodies have been taken back to Mexico, two are still pending and one body is staying in the U.S.

Although the circumstances are heartbreaking, Feliciano says it is part of their job, and they will be glad to help them anyway they can.

KGNS reached out to the Mexican Consulate from Laredo to see if they will assist in sending back the bodies of the migrants who died on June 27. They say that the Mexican Consulate in San Antonio is the one in charge of the situation.

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