The harsh reality of the migration crisis at the US-Mexico border has been captured in photos depicting the lifeless bodies of a man and his two-year-old daughter from El Salvador who drowned in the Rio Grande as they attempted to cross into the United States.
Oscar Alberto Martinez, 26, accompanied by his wife, Tania Vanessa Avalos, and their daughter, Angie Valeria M., had arrived in Matamoros on Sunday to seek asylum from authorities in the US. But, when Martinez realized that he would have to wait for weeks before they could even start the asylum process, he made a decision that the three of them should swim across the Rio Grande.
On Sunday, he swam across the river with the two-year-old and, in fact, made it to the American side where he left the girl and turned back to get Vanessa, his wife. But, when Valeria saw her dad swimming away, she threw herself into the river. Martinez returned and grabbed his daughter, but the current swept both of them away.
Their bodies were found near a river bank the following day, on Monday. In the heartbreaking photo, the girl’s arm is tucked inside her father’s black T-shirt and draped around his neck.
The photo of the Salvadorian man and his toddler lying face down near the river bank highlights the peril a great number of migrants face at the US-Mexico border when trying to cross into the US.
This tragic event prompted Alexandra Hill, the Salvadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to call on all those people who plan to migrate illegally to the US not to do so. She said: “Our country is in mourning, again. I beg you, to all the families, parents, don’t risk it. Life is worth a lot more.”
Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador, said that the government would help the family financially.
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