Mexican officials said that so far, only four of the charred bodies had been identified: two Mexicans with a history of people smuggling, and two migrants from Guatemala. Authorities also said the burned-out truck may have been part of a convoy of vehicles carrying migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. The whereabouts of the rest of the human cargo is still unknown.
A second charred truck also discovered at the scene belonged to one of the dead smugglers, according to authorities. The Tamaulipas attorney general, Irving Barrios Mojica, said the same vehicle had been at the scene of an incident in December, when police in neighboring Nuevo León state detained 66 migrants.
The truck was taken into custody by the National Migration Institute, but returned to its owner just days later, authorities said, raising suspicions that federal authorities may also have been involved, Ms. Sánchez said at a new conference on Monday.
The mass killing has caused a stir in Guatemala, with the country’s foreign ministry on Tuesday calling on Mexican officials to solve the case and condemning the “atrocities committed in the Tamaulipas massacre.”
Villagers in the southern municipality of San Marcos have said they believed their relatives were among the victims of the attack. Some told local media they received a phone call on Saturday, Jan. 23 from a people smuggler saying that all the migrants were dead.
According to President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala, his government has received 32 DNA samples from people who fear their relatives are among the dead. Two of the Guatemalans killed may have been people smugglers, according to Mr. Giammattei.
“The way the bodies are, it is impossible to recognize them, they are totally charred,” he said.
Maria Abi-Habib contributed reporting from Mexico City. Nic Wirtz contributed reporting from Antigua, Guatemala.