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It’s Easier to Cross the Border When You’re Dead

"When the whole family lives in the United States, why bury the grandparent or the parents in Mexico if there is no one to visit the cemetery?"

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In the case of Americans, consulates of both countries have to issue a confirmation of the death and, sometimes, require an X-ray of the person who died.

"The repatriation of bodies of immigrants to Mexico has always been our main business, and the sudden increase in funeral shipments to the U.S. took us by surprise. They’re not comparable in number, but more Mexicans are now being buried on the other side. I think it’s the violence; this is all because of the violence,” said Meléndez. “They no longer want to risk it, even to come bury their people.”

Translated by Elena Shore.

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