Community holds event to remember 19 immigrants who died in 2003

One of the deadlist human smuggling attempts in United States history left 19 dead. The Pro Justica Serafin Olvera comittee held their annual event to remember those lives lost on May 14th 2003.

At the truck stop on Flemming Praire road, you might have see flowers and water bottles , those are there to remember 19 people who died in the back of a trailer.

I talked to a mother who lost her teenage son in this deadly human smuggling attempt.

May 14th 2003.. The deadliest human smuggling case in US history.
Lacking Food and Water… 19 undocumented immigrants died of suffocation.. dehydration.. and starvation… locked in the back of a trailer in the Texas heat…

Authorities said the immigrants.. desparately poked holes in the back of the trailer just to get air, temperatures reached as high 173 degress

Every year people gather to remember lives.. lost too soon.
“We make a memorial for the 19 immigrants that pass away in a trailer, 16 years ago,” says Martha Olverez, Organizer

Mother Dora Toress will never forget losing part of her life on this day.
Out of town she recoginatized some shoes belonging to one of the deceased, shoes she remembers buying her 14 year son.

Every time she comes back to the memorial she realizes that was her son.
“me siento bien porque desde el primer ano ha venido mucha gente, y pues me siento bien que todos los anos nos acompane mucha gente” Dora Torres, Grieving Mother adds.

Torres makes it a mission to come every year but she is slowing healing from this pain.)
“its very hard for her and her family, now she is a little bit better but 16 years ago happened and she lost her son,” tells Olverez.

The memorial bonds the entirety of South Texas, every year because they don’t want to forget those who suffered in the back of the trailer.

Immigration activist Martha Olverez has been organzing these events since the week after May 14th 2003. 16 years later she wants the government to change the immigration laws so others can have a chance at a new life.
“We want to change the immigration laws so that all the immigrants have a better life, and no more immigrants die in the way that they came over for a better life,” declares Olverez

Organizers says they want to continue this tradition for years to come.