RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – The bodies of the father and daughter who recently drowned together while trying to cross the Rio Grande and enter the U.S. through Brownsville, have been returned to El Salvador on Sunday for burial.
Photos of Valeria, face down with her little arm wrapped around the neck of her father, Oscar Alberto Martinez, broke hearts around the world.
It also underscored the dangers that migrants undertake in trying to reach the U.S.
The father and daughter were swept away by the current in the river between Matamoros and Brownsville.
Their remains entered El Salvador by land and were expected to be buried in a private ceremony in the capital today.
El Salvador’s President has described the death of the two citizens as tragic, making it clear the U.S. is not to blame but rather his own country.
“They fled El Salvador. They fled our country. It is our fault. We haven’t been able to provide anything, not a decent job, not a decent school. The fact is that yes, I do condemn the treatment of our migrants in the United States, in Mexico, in Guatemala, but I really will say to the people of our country that we have to focus on making our country better and make our country a place where nobody has to migrate. I think migration is a right, but it should be an option, not an obligation.” Said Nayib Bukele, El Salvador President.
The president vowed to stop migration and make El Salvador safer and more prosperous.