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Cemetery for unidentified immigrants who died crossing U.S. desert



A cemetery in the desert of California's Imperial Valley holds the remains of hundreds of immigrants who died in their attempt to achieve the American dream, many of whom have never been identified. EFE/DAVID MAUNG
A cemetery in the desert of California’s Imperial Valley holds the remains of hundreds of immigrants who died in their attempt to achieve the American dream, many of whom have never been identified. EFE/DAVID MAUNG

San Diego, Jul 22 (EFE).- A cemetery in the desert of California’s Imperial Valley holds the remains of hundreds of immigrants who died in their attempt to achieve the American dream, many of whom have never been identified.

In the Terrace Park graveyard in Holtville, some 30 kilometers (19 miles) north of the Mexican border, on a wide stretch of land are rows of bricks, some decorated with a flower or a small wooden cross, under which lie the bodies of some 500 undocumented migrants.

“Here is where the dreams of many immigrants end. They never expected to die crossing the border and now their families will never know what happened to them,” Enrique Morones, founder and director of the Border Angels group told EFE.

On each of those bricks or crosses are messages like “Not Forgotten,” “Dream,” “You’re Not Alone,” “God Lives” and “In Our Hearts,” inscribed by activists and members of the local immigrant community.

For Morones, the cemetery reflects “the reality of migration,” particularly now that it’s at the center of the presidential election debate with talk of “building more walls” along the U.S.-Mexican border, a reference to Republican candidate Donald Trump.

This week the Border Angels went to the desert cemetery once more to place crosses and pray over the bricks, under each of which lies at “at least one person,” he said.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, which receives the unidentified bodies of those who died on routes used by the undocumented, has launched a campaign targeting families of immigrants who went missing soon after crossing the border into the U.S. in an attempt to identify the bodies with DNA tests.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUS, has registered 2,321 unidentified persons in California, of whom close to 500 are of Hispanic descent.

 

 

 


 

Cementerio para inmigrantes no identificados que murieron cruzando el desierto de EE.UU.

A cemetery in the desert of California's Imperial Valley holds the remains of hundreds of immigrants who died in their attempt to achieve the American dream, many of whom have never been identified. EFE/DAVID MAUNG
Un cementerio en el desierto del Valle Imperial en California guarda los cuerpos de cientos de inmigrantes que han muerto en su intento de alcanzar el sueños americano. Algunos nunca han sido identificados. EFE/DAVID MAUNG

 

San Diego- En un cementerio en medio del desierto del Valle Imperial, en California (EE.UU.), descansan los restos de cientos de inmigrantes que perecieron en su intento por cumplir el sueño americano, muchos de ellos sin lograr ser identificados.

En la parte posterior del panteón Terrace Park de Holtville, ubicado unos 30 kilómetros al norte de la frontera con México, se extiende un amplio terreno en el que se disponen hileras de ladrillos, algunos de ellos junto a una flor o una pequeña cruz de madera, debajo de los cuales yacen unos 500 cuerpos de indocumentados.

“Aquí es donde terminan muchos de los sueños de los inmigrantes, ellos nunca esperaron morir cuando cruzaron la frontera y ahora sus familias nunca van a saber qué pasó”, dijo a Efe Enrique Morones, fundador y director del grupo Ángeles de la Frontera.

En cada uno de estos ladrillos y cruces se leen mensajes como “No olvidado”, “Sueña”, “No están solos”, “Dios vive” o “En nuestro corazón”, escritos por activistas o miembros de la comunidad inmigrante local.

Para Morones, el cementerio refleja “la realidad de la migración”, sobre todo ahora que está en el centro del debate en medio de la elección presidencial, al hablar de “la construcción de más muros” a lo largo de la frontera EE.UU. y México, refiriéndose al candidato republicano Donald Trump.

Esta semana, el grupo Ángeles de la Frontera acudió nuevamente al sitio para colocar cruces y orar frente a los ladrillos, debajo de cada uno de los cuales hay “por lo menos una persona”, según señaló Morones.

La Oficina del Médico Forense en San Diego, que recibe cuerpos sin identificar de personas fallecidas en rutas utilizadas por indocumentados, lanzó este año una campaña dirigida a familiares de inmigrantes desaparecidos poco después de cruzar la frontera para tratar de identificar con pruebas de ADN la identidad de los cadáveres.

El Sistema Nacional de Personas Desaparecidas y No Identificados (NamUS) tiene registro de 2.321 personas sin identificar en California de las cuales, cerca de 500 son de ascendencia latina.

 


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