Drowned father and daughter laid to rest in El Salvador

Immigration

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

Relatives and friends of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his nearly two-year-old daughter Valeria accompany the hearses carrying their bodies inside the Cemetery of La Bermeja where they will be buried in San Salvador, El Salvador, Monday, July 1, 2019. The bodies of the migrants who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas are being laid to rest in their native El Salvador. (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.

A card from Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele and his wife Gabriela is part of a flower arrangement on the grave of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his almost two-year-old daughter Valeria after their burial at the Municipal Cemetery of La Bermeja in San Salvador, El Salvador, Monday, July 1, 2019. The bodies of the father and daughter migrants who drowned together trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas on June 23 were laid to rest in their native El Salvador. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

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.

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)

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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