The grim reality of the migration crisis unfolding on America’s southern border has been captured in photographs showing the lifeless bodies of a Salvadoran father and his daughter who drowned as they attempted to cross the Rio Grande into Texas.
The images, taken on June 24, show Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 26, and his daughter Valeria, lying face down in shallow water. The 23-month-old toddler’s arm is draped around her father’s neck, suggesting that she was clinging to him in her final moments.
Mexican newspapers compared the photograph to the 2015 image of the 3 year old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi who drowned off the Greek island of Kos – although it remains to be seen if it will have the same impact on America’s fierce immigration debate.
Their bodies were discovered on the bank of the river near Matamoros, Mexico, across from Brownsville, Texas, just half a mile (1 kilometer) from an international bridge.
Martínez Ramírez had arrived in Matamoros on Sunday, hoping to request asylum from US authorities with his wife, Vanessa Ávalos, and their daughter.
But when he realized that it could be weeks before they were even able to start the asylum process, Martínez decided they should swim across, said Le Duc, who witnessed Ávalos give her account to the police.
“He crossed first with the little girl and he left her on the American side. Then he turned back to get his wife, but the girl went into the water after him. When he went to save her, the current took them both,” Le Duc told the Guardian.
Source: The Guardian