Drowned father and daughter laid to rest in El Salvador


Migrants' bodies appeared in viral photo taken on banks of Rio Grande

A municipal police officer stands outside the Municipal Funeral Home at La Bermeja Cemetery, where the bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his daughter Valeria, 23 months, arrived in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sunday, June 30, 2019. Martínez and his daughter were swept away by the border river between Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday, June 23, and their bodies were found the next morning. The wife and mother, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, survived. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) – The bodies of a man and his young daughter who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas are being laid to rest in their native El Salvador.

About 50 people are carrying flowers and following a hearse toward the burial site at La Bermeja cemetery in southern San Salvador, the capital. Journalists are not allowed access to the private ceremony.

The bodies of Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter Valeria lie on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico on June 24, 2019, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas. (AP Photo/Julia Le Duc)

Relatives and friends, many clad in black, arrived by bus Monday from their hometown of Altavista.

Among them was Berta Padilla, who said she knew the victims.

In her words: “They are good people, and I can’t believe they died this way.”

The remains of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his young daughter Valeria entered the Central American country by land on Sunday.

Photographs of Valeria, face down with her little arm wrapped around her father’s neck, broke hearts around the world and underscored the dangers that migrants undertake in trying to reach the U.S.

The father and daughter were swept up in a current between Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas.

Martinez’ wife, Tania, told Mexican authorities she watched her husband and child disappear in the strong current.

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