June 25 (UPI) -- El Salvador's foreign ministry said the country will pay to return the bodies of a father and daughter who drowned while attempting to cross the Mexico-U.S. border.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandra Hill announced Tuesday that the Salvadoran presidency will fully cover the expenses to repatriate the bodies of the father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande last Sunday and will also provide any necessary support to their families.
"President Nayib Bukele has commissioned me personally to step by step support these families who unfortunately lost their loved ones, again, due to the drama of irregular immigration," said Hill.
Tania Vannesa Alvos identified the pair as her husband, Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, and their nearly 2-year-old daughter, Valeria, Mexican newspaper La Jordana reported.
Alvos said her family had been in Mexico for two months and had a humanitarian visa that was delivered to them in the city of Tapachula.
They arrived at the Puerta Mexico Bridge on Sunday to request political asylum from the U.S. government but were unable to because the Tamaulipas Migrant Institute was closed.
Alvos said they then began to walk along the Rio Grande before deciding to cross the river and enter Brownsville, Texas, when her husband and daughter were dragged away by the current as she watched from the edge of the river.
Firemen, Navy and state police eventually discovered their bodies after 12 hours of searching.
Ramsey English Canto, mayor of the Texas city of Eagle Pass along the Rio Grande, said about 800 people had been rescued from the river in February. Around the time Border Patrol agents recovered the dead body of a man who had been attempting to cross the river and rescued a man and his son who "began to struggle to stay afloat in the swift current."
El Salvador's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also called on citizens to stop attempting to illegally migrate through other countries and pledged to strengthen consular services to ensure that the human rights of Central American migrants aren't violated.
"The government of President Bukele works to create a safe environment and opportunities to live with dignity in El Salvador," Hill said.