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He fled Guatemala looking for a better life. But he and 18 others were killed en route to the US.

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Ingrid Tomás at home in Comitancillo, Guatemala, at her brother’s altar.

COMITANCILLO, Guatemala – In early January, Marvin Alberto Tomás woke up here in his hometown, eager to start the long journey to America he hoped would provide a better life for his mother and four little sisters.

Instead, the nearly 2,000-mile trip through two countries would end with his death.

Tomás, 22, nicknamed “El Zurdo” or “Lefty,” was one of 19 migrants whose charred bodies were found Jan. 22 inside two vans in the town of Santa Anita in Camargo, the Mexican state of Tamaulipas – barely 50 miles from the U.S. border. 

A dozen Mexican police officers are now being held in custody on homicide charges in the deaths.

The massacre and subsequent arrests have further exposed the danger facing Central American migrants fleeing their countries because of unemployment, poverty and gang violence in the hope of a better life in America.

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