Drowned migrant father and daughter mourned at El Salvador cemetery

"They are good people, and I can’t believe they died this way," one woman who knew the father and daughter said.
Image: A photo of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, who drowned while crossing the Rio Grande, at a vigil in Brownsville, Texas, on June 30, 2019.
A photo of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, who drowned while crossing the Rio Grande, at a vigil in Brownsville, Texas, on June 30, 2019.Loren Elliott / Reuters

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By Associated Press and Daniella Silva

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — 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.

Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria died while trying to cross the Rio Grande on June 23, their deaths captured by a horrific and haunting image that sparked outrage.

About 50 people carried flowers and followed a hearse toward the burial site at La Bermeja cemetery in southern San Salvador, the capital. Journalists are not being allowed access to the private ceremony.

Rosa Ramírez, Martínez’s mother, told Telemundo last week that her son and Valeria’s mother, Tania Vanessa Avalos, left for the United States in search of a better life for their daughter after struggling financially in El Salvador.

“You do not wish this on anyone, that for going in search of the American dream you would lose your life,” she said.

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.

In her words: “They are good people, and I can’t believe they died this way.”

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