In a horrific image captured Monday, the drowned bodies of a man and his young daughter lie facedown in muddy waters, with the girl’s right arm draped over her father’s shoulders — a tragic reminder of the dangerous journey migrants take to come to America.
The man’s widow, Tania, says she saw her husband, Oscar Alberto Martínez, and their 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, carried away by a current to their death, CNN reports.
The father and daughter from El Salvador drowned Sunday in the Rio Grande after they crossed from Mexico into Texas near Brownsville. After making it to Texas, Martinez had turned around to get his wife; when his daughter saw him swimming away, she jumped in after him, CNN reports, citing the photographer who captured the image, Julia Le Duc.
The father clung to the girl, but a strong current carried them away, ultimately drowning them, Le Duc wrote for Mexican newspaper La Jornada.
The two bodies were found Monday on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, near Matamoros, across the river from Brownsville, CNN reports. The family had most recently been in a migrant camp in Matamoros, hoping for an appointment to receive political asylum in the U.S., according to La Jornada.
The family had been in Mexico for a total of two months in the blazing heat before deciding to cross the river out of desperation, according to La Jornada.
Ports of entry along the border have been overwhelmed by surging asylum claims, CNN reports, noting that U.S. policies that make it harder for asylum seekers to enter at the ports of entry are pushing more migrants to take deadly risks.
Read the full story at CNN.