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Usa News

Mexican migrant killed in California capsizes left daughter


MEXICO CITY — Yecenia Lazcano Soriano left behind a 4-year-old daughter in her hometown of Tehuacan, Mexico, when she left almost in secret for the United States.

The last message she sent to her loved ones was a heart emoji. Days later, on the California coast, two small boats carrying her and other migrants capsized in rough surf off a San Diego beach.

The 22-year-old’s body was one of eight recovered shortly after last Sunday’s crash at Black’s Beach, one of the deadliest maritime smuggling events near US shores.

A single mother, Lazcano Soriano’s story was almost a microcosm of the desperation that drives many migrants to the United States. Nearly 129,000 migrants were arrested trying to cross the US border in February.

At 15, Lazcano Soriano went to live with the father of her child, but he was abducted and disappeared, like more than 112,000 other Mexicans who have disappeared since drug cartel violence resumed in 2006.

Lazcano Soriano dreamed of opening his own store in Tehuacan, a poor farming town located between the cities of Puebla and Oaxaca in south-central Mexico. Most earn their living there by growing flowers or maize. The single mother sold fruits and vegetables at a local market.

But with jobs becoming scarce, she decided to follow her aunt, Wendy Valencia, who immigrated to Dallas from Tehuacan six years ago.

Lazcano Soriano left Tehuacan a few weeks ago, telling only two of his relatives. The last message she sent was a Valencia heart emoji. After that, there was silence, until the chilling news broke: the authorities had identified her by identity documents found on her body.

“She wasn’t afraid of work,” Valencia said in a phone interview. “She was a warrior, a woman used to fighting.”

She left her daughter in the care of her 72-year-old grandmother and two other aunts, but had hoped to find the girl.

“His goal was to give his daughter a better future, a decent home,” Valencia said. Life has never been so sweet for Lazcano Soriano; her companion’s disappearance has never been resolved.

A total of 23 people were thought to be on board the two boats that capsized off San Diego. Many other passengers are believed to have landed and escaped.

Mexican authorities said preliminary identification based on records found with people’s bodies indicated that seven of the eight dead were Mexicans.

Just 40 kilometers from Tehuacan, in the town of Tlacotepec de Benito Juarez, tragedy struck the family of Alma Figueroa Gorgoria.

Figueroa Gorgoria would have turned 18 next week. She had left for the United States with her aunt, Ana Jacqueline Figueroa, 23. Both of their bodies were identified in San Diego.

Just seven miles (12 kilometers) in the other direction, the nearby farming community of Santiago Miahuatlan was the hometown of Guillermo Suárez González, who also risked traveling in the boats to reach the United States. A worker in an assembly plant for local export, the 23-year-old dreamed of a better life; he left four children. Eloy Hernández Baltazar, 58, also lived in Santiago Miahuatlan and was also among the dead.

The Puebla State Migrant Aid Office said the paperwork was submitted to send Suárez González back to his hometown for burial.

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