The community of Boquerón, in the province of Azua, in the Dominican south, this Wednesday fired Rafelín Martínez Castillo, 20 days after he died in Chiapas, Mexico, in the accident of a truck that occurred on December 9 and in the that more than 160 irregular migrants were traveling.
It is the sixth burial of a young Dominican of the eleven who died in the incident, while five families are still waiting for the repatriation of the remains of as many victims.
“Rafelín, get up from there!” a friend of the deceased, leaning on the coffin, shouted disconsolately, while a choir of women accompanied her in her tears, without the music being able to drown her laments.
The mother was slow to gather strength to approach her son’s coffin and, overcome with pain, exclaimed “Rafi, take me with you!”, “Rafi, hug Mommy!”, clinging to the box.
About 300 people came to see the young man off and participated in the procession to the cemetery, many of them wearing a ‘t-shirt’ with the face of Martínez Castillo printed on the chest. “We will always remember you,” reads a message on the back.
Dozens of hands carried the coffin along the two kilometers that separate the family home from the cemetery.
Rómulo Terreros, his stepfather, never agreed with the trip, he only needed to hide his passport to dissuade him from his purpose.
“We only had contact with him once since he left in November (last), he invested around a million pesos (about 17,300 dollars) to make the trip. His dream was everyone’s: to improve, to achieve another way of life, he was a craftsman and wanted to help his family, “said Terreros.
The relative of the deceased assured that due to the efforts of his family and several friends, the necessary money was raised to bring the body of Martínez Castillo to the country.
“If we had waited for the state, we still would not have it here (the body), it is not known if within a month, two, or three months we would have had to wait to bring it back,” he added.
In the last audio message that one of his cousins received, a Rafelín is heard excited about the experience he was living, after traveling from Santo Domingo to Panama and from there to Guatemala, shortly before his trip ended abruptly.
A few hours before, some 25 kilometers away, the body of Reyni Guerrero Soto, also a victim of the accident and a neighbor of Baní (south), the place of origin of several of the deceased Dominican nationals, was buried.
At least 56 people died in the accident of the truck that transported undocumented immigrants and a hundred were injured, mostly Central Americans and also Dominicans.
According to the latest report from the Chiapas Health Secretariat, 51 patients remain hospitalized, the vast majority of them in serious or delicate condition.
The trailer where the undocumented migrants were traveling collided with the wall of a pedestrian bridge, according to the report from the Chiapas Prosecutor’s Office.
After the impact, the box was left without the roof and then overturned to one side and, as a result of the collision, dozens of migrants died instantly.
The Dominican authorities have confirmed the death of 11 of their nationals and are still trying to identify two others, who have been reported missing, while three more are injured.