The bodies of Oscar Alberto Martinez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, were returned home to their native El Salvador on Sunday, according to El Salvador’s Secretary of Communications for the President, one week after they died trying to cross the US border.
A tragic image of the father and daughter face down in the Rio Grande shocked the world and further highlighted the human impact of the crisis at the US-Mexico border. Their bodies were discovered Monday near Matamoros, across the river from Brownsville, Texas.
The Secretary of Communications told CNN the Salvadoran Minister of Government and Development Mario Duran met the bodies on their arrival.
Martinez’s wife and the child’s mother, Tania Avalos, traveled to El Salvador on Friday and was greeted at the airport by El Salvador’s Vice Minister of Foreign Relations Mauricio Cabrera.
Martinez’s mother Rosa Ramírez told CNN affiliate Canal 33 that she had tried to convince the young family not to make the journey north, but “the idea of leaving had gotten into their heads.”
They wanted to have their own home, Ramírez said. “That was what motivated them.”
CNN’s Natalie Gallón and Chandler Thornton contributed to this report.