Widow of Salvadoran father who drowned with their daughter in Rio Grande, speaks out

The widow of a man who drowned in the Rio Grande with his toddler daughter on Sunday, revealed that he told her they would make the crossing safely and not worry about it.

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Tania Vanessa Ávalos, 21, is now preparing to fly to El Salvador with the bodies of her husband Oscar, 25, and their daughter Valeria, 22 months, who drowned on Sunday.

A photo of their bodies floating in the riverbank lifeless shocked the world after being discovered on Monday and has since been used as a symbol of the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the border.

The young family of three left their home in El Salvador on April 3 in search of a better life.

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Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria, died on Sunday after being swept away by the current

Tania Avalos, the mother of the girl and the wife of Oscar, is leaving on Wednesday in the mortuary in Matamoros

Tania Avalos, the mother of the girl and the wife of Oscar, is leaving on Wednesday in the mortuary in Matamoros

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Tania Avalos, the girl's mother and Oscar's wife, will be evicted from the mortuary in Matamoros on the right (right). She has since told it

Oscar had put Valeria in his t-shirt to prevent her from drifting away from him. He had dropped her on the American side of the Rio Grande and had returned to get Tania, still on the Mexican side, but Valeria jumped into the water after him and the pair was swept away

Oscar had put Valeria in his t-shirt to prevent her from drifting away from him. He had dropped her on the American side of the Rio Grande and had returned to get Tania, still on the Mexican side, but Valeria jumped into the water after him and the pair was swept away

Oscar had put Valeria in his t-shirt to prevent her from drifting away from him. He had dropped her on the American side of the Rio Grande and had returned to get Tania, still on the Mexican side, but Valeria jumped into the water after him and the pair was swept away

They traveled through Guatemala to Mexico and spent two months in a migrant camp in southern Mexico before boarding the bus to reach the American border on Sunday.

When they arrived, they went to the international bridge, hoping for an appointment with US border officials, but were told to wait until the office was open.

With hundreds of others in front of them, they decided to take matters into their own hands.

Valeria and Oscar were the first to cross and brought her safely to the American side of the river, but then he turned for his wife. The little girl jumped after her father and they were swept away by a current.

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Tania has told the local dealer Publimetro on Wednesday how they had become so desperate after running out of the little money they had.

& # 39; Oscar wanted us to cross. (He wanted to) find a job, he could give our daughter Valeria a better life. But the river dragged them, swallowed them.

& # 39; We were already desperate, we had no money left.

& # 39; Processing for immigration in the United States (center) is slow and they have more demands. They didn't call us. We went to the bridge (border crossing), to the offices in the United States, and they sent us away that they would call us, but nothing, & she said.

& # 39; That's why Óscar said on Sunday that we had to cross the river to get confidence, the belief that nothing would happen.

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& # 39; He took Valeria in his arms and we stepped in holding on to a rope, but the waters began to drag us.

The family arrived in Matamoros on Sunday after boarding a bus in southern Mexico. They went straight to the International Bridge and tried to get an appointment to discuss their asylum case, but it was closed and they learned that there were hundreds of people in front of them, so they tried to cross themselves and were wiped out

Oscar & # 39; s mother revealed that the young family's dream was to make enough money in America to return to El Salvador and build or buy their own house

Oscar & # 39; s mother revealed that the young family's dream was to make enough money in America to return to El Salvador and build or buy their own house

The family lived in El Salvador on Oscar & # 39; s wage of $ 350 a month, but was struggling

The family lived in El Salvador on Oscar & # 39; s wage of $ 350 a month, but was struggling

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Valeria & # 39; s mother Tania Vanessa Ávalos, 21, left, had quit her job in a Chinese restaurant to take care of her full time

& # 39; Óscar held the girl with one arm, but he could not hold it and released it & # 39 ;, she said.

Oscar & # 39; s brother, Carlos, has since told how he begged his brother not to try.

Niet Do not walk across the river with the girl, I told him, it is very dangerous, that river is very bad.

& # 39; He didn't listen to me, unfortunately something happened. May my brother and niece rest in peace, & he said to AFP.

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Their death was a hot topic during the Democratic presidential candidate's debate on Wednesday night.

Their mother, Rosa, said she was being chased by the image but that it was also & # 39; tenderness & # 39; showed.

Valeria died with her arm wrapped around her father's neck, proof that she held on to her until her last moments.

Valeria was safely taken to the US side of the river, but when she saw her father come back into the water, she jumped after him.

Valeria was safely taken to the US side of the river, but when she saw her father come back into the water, she jumped after him.

Valeria was safely taken to the US side of the river, but when she saw her father come back into the water, she jumped after him.

The corpses will be removed from the Rio Grande on Monday

The corpses will be removed from the Rio Grande on Monday

The corpses will be removed from the Rio Grande on Monday

He had put her in his t-shirt to prevent her from drifting away from him.

Oscar worked in a Papa Johns pizza restaurant, where he earned $ 350 a month.

They lived off his wages, limiting themselves to $ 10 a day because Tania had already given up her job as a cashier in a Chinese restaurant to take care of Valeria, their only child.

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The family lived with her mother in a residential complex in Altavista.

They were not fleeing violence, Tania & # 39; s mother said since then, but were desperately looking for a life in which they could earn more.

Their plan was to spend a few years in America to save enough money to eventually return to El Salvador and buy or build their own house.

& # 39; I begged them not to go, but he wanted to scrape money to build a house.

& # 39; They hoped to be there for a few years and save for the house & # 39 ;, Rosa Ramirez, Oscar's mother, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

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Determined to eventually come to the US, they left El Salvador for Mexico on April 3.

Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, 25 and baby Valerie were swept away by the current when they crossed from Matamoros, Mexico, Texas. Their bodies are seen in a hearse in the mortuary

Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, 25 and baby Valerie were swept away by the current when they crossed from Matamoros, Mexico, Texas. Their bodies are seen in a hearse in the mortuary

Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, 25 and baby Valerie were swept away by the current when they crossed from Matamoros, Mexico, Texas. Their bodies are seen in a hearse in the mortuary

There they received a humanitarian visa in Tapachula, which allowed them to work there for a year while waiting for news about their asylum application in the US.

After two months in southern Mexico, with no prospect of legal entry from the US, the family decided to head to the border to bring their case forward.

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According to Oscar & # 39; s parents, who were in constant contact with them when they were in Mexico, someone told him that & # 39; easy & # 39; would be to cross illegally if you had to.

They boarded a bus to Matamoros and came directly to the International Bridge on Sunday to try to plead their case, but they were discouraged when they arrived to find the office closed because it was a weekend.

They were also told that they probably had to wait weeks or even months for their appointment because so many other families were standing in front of them.

According to Julia Le Duc, the journalist who photographed their bodies, 300 people are waiting for asylum-related interviews and only three slots a week.

Desperately, they decided to cross themselves and find their way to the bank of the river.

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Before their death, Oscar sent his mother a final text message. It said: & # 39; Mama, I love you. We are doing well, taking care of yourself. & # 39;

She has since described him as a & # 39; polite & # 39 ;.

His parents want their death to serve as a lesson for anyone considering crossing the border.

& # 39; I hope this is a lesson for everyone that crossing is easy.

& # 39; It is not. It risks your life, & she said to the local media La Prensa.

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