SAN ANTONIO - City and county leaders gathered outside city hall steps to remember the lives lost in the hot truck tragedy.
Sunday, the League of United Latin American Citizens led several prayers.
Organizer Linda Montellano said while immigration reform is top of mind, the vigil was to simply honor the 10 undocumented immigrants who died about a week ago.
July 22, police discovered 39 people inside a closed semi-trailer at a Walmart located at IH35 South and Palo Alto Road. Police said the 10 immigrants died as a result of heat-related illnesses.
Officials reported that the trailer had a cooler but the air conditioning was broken. Police said they were initially notified of the trailer after a desperate victim asked a Walmart employee for water.
"I won't shy away that yes this was illegal but that's not what we're covering today," said Montellano. "What we're focusing on is human rights. Human lives. The fact that individuals put their hope and trust in someone else to bring them into the United States shows so much desperation."
Bexar county sheriff Javier Salazar was in attendance, along with District 2 city councilman William "Cruz" Shaw. Salazar said it was important for him to show his support.
"As a dad, how do I fault somebody that's hoping for a better life just on the other side of the river? How do I fault them?" said Salazar. "I don't want people to be deterred to come forward. If you're a victim of a crime, if you're a witness to a crime, and you happen to be undocumented. Give us a call. We're going to help you."
"Let's grasp something bigger than ourselves and be there for humanity. No matter what it takes. If we have to get out there on our own and advocate for those who are trying to live a better life. For those who are suffering," said Montellano.
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