Decomposed body found in Texas desert is a little boy & it's heartbreaking
Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez, an 11-year-old boy from Guatemala, was found dead on June 15 about a mile from the Rio Bravo, which separates the U.S. and Mexico along the Texas border. When this little boy's body was found it was already decomposing. Apparently, he had been laying there in the desert exposed to the elements for about 25 days. Authorities believe that the child died of heat exposure. He had no food and no water. The only reason that authorities were even able to identify him is because they found his brother's Chicago address scribbled on the inside of the belt buckle he was wearing.
This child's story is important. This is a story we all need to be invested in.
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Authorities were able to reach the little boy's brother who gave them the father's number in Guatemala. The father had to identify his son from the boy's personal items. The fact that the child was wearing Angry Bird jeans makes me burst into tears. I don't know why, but it just really puts into perspective to me how young he was.
Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez traveled 1,200 miles from his home to where his body was found. He was making his way into the United States with the help of a coyote. Either he got separated from the coyote or he was abandoned. Left to his own defenses in the extreme desert conditions, he couldn't survive.
That child is one of the kids that we've all been hearing about on the news, one of the many, many unaccompanied children mostly from Central America that make their way toward the United States in an effort to flee gang violence. They are running from a horrible situation to a country that doesn't want them or seem to care about them and it breaks my heart because they are children! These children need help and the world seems to have no compassion for them, no place for them. Whether they live in violence in their nation of birth or they die in the desert or they make their way into a country that they cannot call their own and will not embrace them, their lives just don't seem to matter much to those who are in charge.
These children are our children. They are yours and mine and the world's, no matter where we happen to call home. Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez died alone and scared at the tender age of 11 in the desert--and it matters and it should matter to all of us.
Of course the situation is complicated, but let's not let politicians further confuse us by making us forget that these are children we are talking about. These are children we are not helping, we are not protecting, we are letting them die.
Images via Getty Images, Hidalgo County Police