A photo of the bodies of a dead father and his young daughter lying face down on the bank of the Rio Grande River received significant attention this week as the United States continues to face a crisis along the nation’s southern border.
The BBC interviewed the mother of the man in the photo, her profound grief clearly visible as she spoke about her son Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and her granddaughter Valeria.
Rosa Ramírez, who lives in El Salvador, had the following message for others: “Well, my message would be, don’t try this. I know that in this country everything is very difficult, but our lives are more valuable.”
When she said goodbye to her son, she had a feeling that she would never see him again.
“I cried a lot when we said goodbye because I felt in my heart that it was the last time I was going to embrace him,” she said.
Ramírez said that her granddaughter would have turned two in July.
“On July 18 she would be two years old. She’s left a hole because she was a joyful girl. This house isn’t the same without her shouts, and the sound of her,” the grandmother said through tears.
“And the last message that he sent me was...he told me that he loved me a lot, and to take care of ourselves. And that was the last message that I received one day before he died,” she said.
"I felt in my heart it was the last time I was going to embrace him"— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 27, 2019
The mother of a man who drowned with his young daughter trying to cross into the US recalls the moment he left on his journey
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