© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

FRONTERAS: Migrant Deaths in San Antonio; Border Horse Patrols; Latino LGBT Activist Dan Guerrero

Joey Palacios / TPR

  This week on Fronteras: 


  • Horror unfolds as immigrants seeking a new life die overcome by extreme heat in the back of a trailer truck in San Antonio.  The Mexican government steps in to help the survivors.
  •  Human smuggling and human trafficking are two very different crimes.
  •   A look at how horses are effectively helping agents patrol the border in the Rio Grande Valley.
  •  A veteran activist serving two causes creates a show merging gay rights and Chicano history.  
  •  Using once segregated public swimming pools at a place for integrated audiences to enjoy dance performance art.




Migrants Die In Back Of Sweltering Tractor-Trailer

The discovery of a stifling tractor-trailer - packed with 39 undocumented immigrants – shocked the city of San Antonio and the nation this week.  Ten of those immigrants died.  At least three survivors of Sunday’s horrific trailer incident were interviewed by federal authorities. Parts of their stories were listed in the federal complaint filed against the driver, James Matthew Bradley Junior of Clearwater, Florida. Bradley is now charged with illegally transporting migrants into the U.S.  Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palicious is following the story and has details of one survivor’s account of the deadly journey.

The Story

The 60-year old driver of the semi could get life in prison or the death penalty if convicted. His court hearing on those charges is set for August 23rd.   Bradley says he was delivering the truck to a new owner and claims he did not know people were inside the truck.


Credit Joey Palacios / TPR
The Mexican Consulate in San Antonio, located on Navarro Street.


Mexican Consulate Helping Trailer Tragedy Survivors

The Mexican government says almost all of the 39 people found in the overheated semi are citizens of Mexico.  As of Thursday, thirteen were still in the hospital.  Another fourteen are in the hands of U.S. Marshalls – potential witnesses to the tragedy.  TPR’s Joey Palacious tells how the Mexican consulate in San Antonio is assisting victims and their families.

The Story


Credit Wikimedia Commons


Human Smuggling And Human Trafficking Are Very Different Crimes

Some reports in the media have called the immigrant deaths in San Antonio, a case of human trafficking but actually, it appears to be a case of human smuggling.  Trafficking and smuggling are two very different things.  TPR’s Carson Frame explains.

The Story


Credit Lorne Matalon
Agent Leo Gonzales with Hondurans


Border Horse Patrols Effective In Age Of High Tech

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the U.S. has spent over 100 billion dollars on border security technology—cameras, drones, aerostats (incorrectly but popularly referred to as "blimps"), airborne patrols, fencing and walls. But in the Rio Grande Valley— currently the U.S. Border Patrol's most active sector in terms of arrests—horses and agents are patrolling terrain that technology alone can't control.  And even as politicians debate the pros-and-cons of an expensive border wall, the Trump administration has asked for more funding for "old school" horse patrols in the upcoming budget. Marfa Public Radio's Lorne Matalon reports from the Rio Grande at La Grulla, Texas.

The Story


Credit Norma Martinez
Norma Martinez and Dan Guerrero


Latino LBGT Activist Dan Guerrero Performs “Gaytino: Made In America”

Dan Guerrero is an activist, a producer, and a performer.  His one-man show “Gaytino: Made in America” is a journey through his life, Chicano history, and gay activism.   TPR's Norma Martinez talked with the 76-year-old actor about his journey as a Latino LGBT activist. 

The Story


Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT
Adrian Ortega, Rafael Garcia and Sarafina Gabris-Green, with the Austin Parks Department, perform a water rescue as part of a preview to "My Park, My Pool, My City" dance.


Once Segregated Public Pools Now Bring People Together

An Austin choreographer has embarked on a three year residency with local lifeguards and maintenance staff for the city’s more than four dozen pools.  Public pools were once vestiges of segregation but this artist sees them as an opportunity to bring all races together. This weekend, residents can see the first of a series of performances called, “My Park, My Pool, My City”. KUT’s Audrey McGlinchy has a preview.

The Story