Things That Matter

The Victims From That Heartbreaking Photo Of A Father And Daughter Who Drowned Crossing Into The US Have Been Laid To Rest

Photographs of Valeria, lying face down in the water with her little arm wrapped around the neck of her father, Oscar Alberto Martínez, broke hearts around the world and underscored the dangers that migrants undertake in trying to reach the US.

Now, their bodies have been laid to rest back in El Salvador.

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A man and his young daughter who drowned trying to cross into Texas were laid to their final rest Monday, a week after a heartbreaking image of their bodies floating in the Rio Grande circled the globe.

About 200 relatives and friends followed a hearse bearing the bodies of Óscar Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria inside La Bermeja municipal cemetery in southern San Salvador. The ceremony was private, and journalists were not allowed access.

Many wore black and wept. They carried flowers and green palms, and some held signs bearing the logo of the Alianza soccer team favored by Óscar Martínez, who belonged to a group that supports the club. “For those who cheer you on from heaven,” one read.

Mourners stood with the family in their pain and time of need.

“I knew them. They are good people, and I can’t believe they died this way,” said Berta Padilla, who arrived earlier along with about 30 others on a bus from Altavista, the working-class city the Martínezes called home before they left in early April, headed for the United States. “We came from Altavista to be with Óscar’s family,” Padilla added in an interview with TIME. “We are with them in their pain.”

After the burial, relatives stayed behind at the gravesite to say a last goodbye, said family friend Reyna Moran. “This is very painful, most of all because of the baby. … They went in search of a better future, but everything came to an end in the river,” Moran said.

A collection of floral arrangements adorned the grave, including one from El Salvador’s president and first lady. Interior Minister Mario Durán was among those who attended.

The father and his daughter have been buried in a special section of the cemetery.

A municipal police officer said their graves were in a section of the cemetery named after Saint Óscar Romero, the San Salvador archbishop who devoted himself to helping the poor and was assassinated in 1980. Romero, who was canonized last year, is buried in the crypt of the city’s cathedral.

Before their heartbreaking deaths, the family had plans to make a new life for their daughter in the US.

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Martínez, 25, and his wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, 21, had been living with his mother and apparently felt that their salaries working at a pizza parlor and as a restaurant cashier would never be enough to purchase a modest home in their suburb of San Salvador.

That dream to save money for a home led the family to set out for the United States, according to Martínez’s mother, Rosa Ramírez.

The neighborhood they left behind in El Salvador is a humble bedroom community where most people live in low-rise, two-bedroom homes with a combination kitchen-living room-dining room, worth about $10,000-$15,000 each.

Meanwhile, El Salvador’s president has taken responsibility for the deaths.

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The president of El Salvador said his country was to blame for the deaths of a Salvadoran man and his daughter who drowned last week while trying to cross the Rio Grande into the United States, The New York Times reports.

“People don’t flee their homes because they want to,” President Nayib Bukele said Sunday during a news conference. “They flee their homes because they feel they have to.”

“We can blame any other country, but what about our blame? What country did they flee? Did they flee the United States?” Bukele said. “They fled El Salvador.”

READ: This Cartoonist’s Right To Free Speech Is Under Threat As He Loses His Job For A Cartoon About Trump’s Failed Immigration Policies

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Police In Tulum Killed A Refugee By Kneeling On Her Neck And Mexicans Want Justice

Things That Matter

Police In Tulum Killed A Refugee By Kneeling On Her Neck And Mexicans Want Justice

So many of those attempting to reach the United States – or even Mexico in some cases – are already fleeing extreme violence, poverty, and fear. Refugees from Honduras and El Salvador (among other countries) are hoping to find a better life faraway from the corruption and danger that they face in their home countries.

But what happens when those same people fleeing violence in their home countries are met with state-sponsored violence on their journey to a better life? Unfortunately, at least one refugee, 36-year-old Victoria Esperanza Salazar, a mother of two teenage daughters, has lost her life while hoping for a better one.

Four police officers are in custody after the killing of a woman from El Salvador.

Four municipal police officers are in custody and under investigation for murder following the death of a Salvadoran woman who was violently pinned to the ground while she was being arrested in Tulum.

Video footage shows a female officer with her knee on the back of 36-year-old Victoria Esperanza Salazar, a mother of two teenage daughters who was living in Tulum on a humanitarian visa.

In the footage, Victoria, who was apparently arrested for disturbing the peace, can be heard moaning in pain and is seen writhing on the road next to a police vehicle as she was held down for more than 20 seconds. Three male police are also present, one of whom appears to help the female offer restrain Victoria. Footage then shows officers drag her limp body into the back of a police truck.

Many are comparing Victoria’s murder to that of George Floyd.

Many in Mexico are comparing Victoria’s death to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last summer, who also died pinned under an officer’s knee. Video shared on social media shows a police officer leaning on Salazar’s head and neck and she cries out, and then goes limp. Officers then drag her body into the back of a police truck.

Mexican officials have largely condemned the officers’ actions and the Attorney General said that the officers — three men and one woman — will be charged with femicide. The charge of femicide carries a penalty of no less than 40 years in prison. The police actions violated the national law on the use of force, the Attorney General’s Office said. 

Victoria’s death comes as millions of Mexican women demand that the authorities do more to combat gender violence in Mexico, where an average of 11 women are killed every day. Her alleged murder also occurred as Mexican authorities ramp up enforcement against mainly Central American migrants traveling through Mexico to seek asylum in the United States.

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Here Is The Selena Funeral Footage You Might Not Have Seen

Entertainment

Here Is The Selena Funeral Footage You Might Not Have Seen

On April 3, 1995, Selena Quintanilla was put to rest after being shot and killed by her fan club president, Yolanda Saldívar. Selena’s funeral was open to the public so fans could bid La Reina De Tejano a final farewell. Let’s take a moment to remember her. Here Is The Selena Funeral Footage You Might Not Have Seen

Selena never built walls separating her from her fans. On the day of her funeral, it was no different.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Thousands of friends, family, and fans made their way to Corpus Christi, Texas to wish Selena a loving farewell. Mourners gathered at the church where her body was laid in rest for all of her loved ones to see and pay respect to.

La Reina de Tejano music was laid to rest on April 3, 1995.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Family, friends, and fans were devastated by the sudden and tragic death of the singer. Her career had just started to cross over into English-language music and people were falling in love with her all over again.

She was buried dressed in the iconic purple we have come to associate her with.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

One of Selena’s last moments was performing at the Houston Astrodome in front of thousands of fans. The image of the singer in her purple jumper is one of the most resounding images fans have of Selena all these years later.

Many people lined up to pay their respect of the beloved Tejano singer.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

“She was a great role model for everybody,” a fan told AP.

The world looked on as somber pallbearers carried Selena’s casket to her final resting place.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

The once vibrant light of Selena Quintanilla was not extinguished when she died. She might not be with us physically anymore but her fans have kept her alive with her music and love.

Before lowering her casket, funeral-goers left hundreds of long-stemmed white roses, her favorite.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

The roses were a touching homage to the singer and the love she shared with her fans.

It was truly a sorrowful moment for all those who loved and cherished the singer.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Hundreds of people lined the streets to get a glimpse of the hearse carrying Selena’s casket to the cemetery. Everyone was trying to get one final look at the special singer who changed the face of Latinos in music.

As in life, Selena’s funeral was open to the public so everyone touched by the singer could bid her farewell.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Her importance to the Latino community cannot be stated enough. She was the first singer to go mainstream that looked like her community and represented her community with such grace.

The world watched heartbroken family and friends said goodbye.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

The heartbreak was felt around the world as all of her fans watched those closest to her giving her a final goodbye.

And a devastated husband tried to come to terms with his unimaginable loss.

Credit: Associated Press / Selfanaticos Online / YouTube

Chris Perez has continued to keep Selena alive through his own words and actions.

Watch the full funeral footage below. [Warning: You will see open casket images of Selena in the video.]

READ: This Old Interview with Selena’s Killer Will Probably Send Shivers Down Your Spine

Share this story with your friends by tapping the share button below and keep the Quintanilla family in your thoughts and prayers this week.

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