World

Migrant father and daughter who drowned on US border buried in El Salvador

0:00

The bodies of a man and his toddler daughter who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico to the United States have been buried in their native El Salvador.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

A Salvadoran father and his 23-month-old daughter, whose tragic deaths became symbols of the perils of illegal immigration to the United States, have been laid to rest in a funeral ceremony.

The stark photo of the dead Oscar Martinez, 25, and his daughter Angie Valeria floating near the bank of the river ignited fresh criticism of US President Donald Trump's tough policies on undocumented migrants entering the United States via Mexico.

The remains of the pair had been brought by road from Mexico through Guatemala, and arrived in the capital San Salvador on Sunday.

Around 300 people attended the ceremony, singing and carrying flowers, as the two were buried side by side in La Bermeja cemetery.

migrant deaths
Flowers cover the grave of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his almost two-year-old daughter Valeria.
AAP

Martinez and his family had left El Salvador in April, hoping to find work in the United States. But their dream unravelled last Sunday when they tried to cross the river that separates northeast Mexico from the United States.

Travelling in a convoy of government vehicles and white vans from a funeral home, the bodies of the drowned migrants left Mexico for El Salvador, where they are due to be buried on Monday.

Interior Minister Mario Duran accompanied the remains but did not speak to reporters.

Migrant deaths
The bodies of Salvadoran migrants Oscar Martinez and his daughter Valeria have been transferred to relatives in Mexico.
AAP

Amid a large police presence, Reuters saw the convoy entering El Salvador at about 8.19 a.m. local time through the border crossing of La Hachadura on the frontier with Guatemala.

The family will hold a private funeral service in La Bermeja cemetery in San Salvador on Monday.

The searing image of the prone Martinez with the toddler tucked under his black t-shirt has drawn comparisons to a 2015 photo of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee, whose body washed up on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Source Reuters - SBS

Topics:

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch