Writes artist Manuela “Lazy Beam” Guillén about her latest work:
This illustration is to honor Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25 and his daughter, Valeria, 2.
The family from El Salvador were trying to escape extreme poverty and seek asylum in the U.S. but they were turned away. They tried to cross the Rio Grande and only the mother, Tania Vanessa Ávalos made it out alive.
The family was surviving on $10 a day in El Salvador (the country still uses U.S. currency). Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez wanted to work in the U.S. so he could raise money to build a home for his wife and daughter. My condolences to the family and the mother for their loss. 🌹
“From the scorching Sonoran Desert to the fast-moving Rio Grande, the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border has long been an at times deadly crossing between ports of entry. A total of 283 migrant deaths were recorded last year; the toll so far this year has not been released” (CNN).
Currently the Internet and news are circulating a photo of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and Valeria found dead by the Rio Grande. If you look up the story, this image will come up.
If you choose to share the image of their death for shock value or to express your views on immigration and human rights, please remember that this was a family in search of a better life. Please be respectful and show compassion and empathy. Perhaps consider sharing instead a photo that humanizes them. This family, like many others, risked their lives sólo para buscar una vida mejor [just to look for a better life]. #restinpower
Related Off-site Links:
A Shocking Image of a Drowned Man and His Daughter Underscores the Crisis at the US-Mexico Border – Natalie Gallón, Ana Melgar and Steve Almasy (CNN, June 26, 2019).
U.S. Bishops Join Pope Reacting to Photos of Drowned Migrant Father and Child – Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter (June 26, 2019).
"Heartbreaking" Border Drowning Photo Causes Outrage at Trump Administration – Nick Baker (SBS News, June 26, 2019).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• "What We're Seeing Here Is a Tipping Point"
• Opposing the Trump Administration's Inhumane Treatment of Immigrant Families
• Jeremy Scahill on the Historical Context of the Trump Administration's "Pathologically Sick" Anti-Immigrant Agenda
• Something to Think About – June 14, 2018
• On International Human Rights Day, Saying "No" to Donald Trump and His Fascist Agenda
• Quote of the Day – March 12, 2018
• 2000+ Take to the Streets of Minneapolis to Express Solidarity with Immigrants and Refugees
• Trump's America: Normalized White Supremacy and a Rising Tide of Racist Violence