- Title: Families receive the ashes of Mexican coronavirus victims who died in the U.S.
- Date: 14th July 2020
- Summary: PHOTO OF REYES
- Embargoed: 28th July 2020 14:24
- Keywords: COVID-19 Mexico burial ceremony coronavirus cremated dead deceased family immigration migrants pandemic remains return toll victims
- Location: OAXACA, MEXICO
- City: OAXACA, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Reuters ID: LVA004CMS6WXZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The cremated remains of Rodolfo Reyes were presented to his family on Sunday (July 12) at a humble ceremony in Oaxaca, Mexico along with those of 16 other Mexican migrants who died in the United States of COVID-19.
Reyes died on April 29 at age 74 in New York City. Even at that age he continued to work as a chef in a Japanese restaurant - a profession that helped send all three of his daughters to university.
Reyes's remains were among those of 250 Mexican citizens the country's Air Force flew home after their deaths from the virus whilst in New York. Many of the migrants worked in manual jobs such as in restaurants and housekeeping, where exposure to the virus is considered high.
Although many of the Mexican victims of coronavirus died weeks ago in the United States, reported documentation problems meant repatriation was delayed.
The Mexican government has reportedly paid for the repatriation of their citizens, including further transportation costs involved with taking ashes to small towns across the country to places like Oaxaca.
Oaxaca is one of Mexico's poorest states and many families depend on money coming in from relatives working in the United States. But with the pandemic raging, some local families are considering whether the health risk for families abroad is worth it.
Some 1,500 Mexicans have died from coronavirus in the United States, about half of them in New York, according to official reports.
As of Monday (July 13), Mexico has registered over 300,000 coronavirus cases and more than 35,000 deaths. In the United States, officials have reported 3.4 million cases and 138,000 deaths.
(Production: Jose Cortes, Rodolfo Pena Roja)
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