Bodies of father, daughter drowned at Mexican border flown to El Salvador

The bodies of a Salvadoran migrant and his daughter, who were swept away last Sunday while trying to cross a river on the US-Mexican border, were flown back to El Salvador on Thursday, reports say.

The repatriation comes two days after the picture of Oscar Alberto Martinez, 26, and Valeria Martinez, 23 months, , above (Handout: El Salvadoran authorities) lying face down in the shallow waters of Rio Grande on the Mexican side revived debate on the plight of migrants.

Four years back, the image of a 3-year-old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, whose body was washed up on the Turkish shore, shocked the world in a similar way.

The remains of Martinez and Valeria, above, were taken by road from Matamoros to Monterrey in Mexico and then flown to El Salvador.

Tania Vanessa Ávalos, 21, Martinez’s wife who helplessly watched him and their daughter being swept away by a strong current, accompanied the bodies.

‘Desperate act’

A Mexican, Federico Peláez, told Spanish news agency Efe in Matamoros that a desperate act led to the tragedy.

Martinez lost his patience after he was disqualified for receiving the number for interview at the border point.

He was running out of money and losing hopes of getting his family’s migration cleared. Instead of waiting further, he chose the easy but dangerous option of crossing the river.

He convinced Avalos they will safely cross the river. He took Valeria in his arms and they entered the river by hanging on to a rope.
The couple soon realised they could not cross the river as the strong current started pulling them away.

Martinez help his daughter in his arm until both were swept away.

Avalos managed to get back to the shore and call police. The bodies of her husband and daughter were recovered 12 hours later.

Oscar wanted to migrate to the US to get a decent job, give his daughter good education and buy a home in his country.

He ignored his mother RosaRamirez’s warningabout the perilous journey.