The tragic story of a migrant father, Oscar Alberto Martinez and his daughter, Angie Valeria Martinez, sparked worldwide indignation this week as the two drowned trying to reach the U.S.
The bodies of the Salvadoran and his 23-year-month-old daughter are being transported back to San Salvador, family members confirmed Thursday.
The story of Oscar Alberto Martinez and his two-year-old daughter, Angie Valeria Martinez, sparked worldwide indignation this week after a photograph was published, showing the pair floating along the shore of the Rio Grande that separates the United States and Mexico in what became their watery grave.
The photo has become a symbol of the perils associated with migration to the U.S. and the desperation people feel in their home countries that motivates them to leave.
Wife and mother, Tania Avalos, travelled to Matamos, Mexico Thursday to collect her family’s remains. The Salvadoran foreign ministry said she will travel from Matamos to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and finally fly to San Salvador either Thursday or Friday.
The family has requested privacy and funeral arrangements have already been made, CNN reports.
Avalos, Martinez and their young daughter left El Salvador in April and were waiting to apply for U.S. asylum. However, this week, the trio tried to cross the fast-flowing waters of the Rio Grande, a Mexican immigration official said.
Oscar and Valeria were found drowned in each others’ arms. Tania Vanessa Avalos, Oscar’s wife, survived, screaming “Where is my husband?” as rescue workers at the river bank carried away a stretcher covered with a white sheet, video images show.
Oscar’s mother, Rosa Ramirez, 46, said she feels “a huge emptiness.” Her friends have urged her to store her son and granddaughter’s belongings, but she is not ready for that yet.