chapter  35
Smuggling as a Spectacle: Irregular Migration and Coyotes in Contemporary U.S. Latino Popular Culture
ByContemporary U.S. Latino Popular Culture GABRIELLA SANCHEZ
Pages 11

On the morning of May 14, 2003, sheriff deputies from Victoria County, Texas, made a macabre discovery. The remains of 17 irregular migrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Dominican Republic-including those of a 5-year-old boy-lay inside and next to a trailer that had been abandoned by its driver, along with 46 other survivors, in the parking lot of a gas station in a desolate stretch of Interstate highway 77. Those who had perished died of suffocation and hypothermia after having spent close to four hours riding in the back of a locked trailer with no ventilation as they attempted to reach Houston, Texas, undetected by U.S. immigration authorities.