Readers React: The gut-wrenching photo from the Rio Grande should spur us to act

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - The bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his
The bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter, Valeria, lie on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas, on June 24.
(Julia Le Duc / Associated Press)

To the editor: Reading the article (“Uproar over tragedy on Rio Grande,” June 26) and seeing that terrible picture of the young father with his toddler daughter lying dead on the riverbank brought back to mind the iconic photo of the “Napalm Girl” in Vietnam, taken some 47 years ago. That photo had some impact on bringing this country to its senses about the atrocities that were being committed as a result of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam and helped bring an end to that war. If there is any possible good to come from this current photo, perhaps it will bring an end to the policies that resulted in this horrific tragedy.

Dave Wilson, Murrieta


To the editor: I am writing through tears of shame and disgust that this father and daughter died while escaping from El Salvador to find a better life. Where is our humanity? This photo deserves to be on the front page so that everyone can see the risks people take to find safety and security in another country. We call ourselves the “land of the free and home of the brave.” Perhaps it is time to change our national anthem if the powers that be continue to politicize this humanitarian issue.


Varini de Silva, Huntington Beach


To the editor: Very tragic and sad photo in my newspaper today. I say “my” newspaper because I’ve read the L.A. Times every day since I was 15 years old, so for the past 45 years. What exactly is the paper’s policy on death photos? Migrants die in the deserts trying to get into the United States every day. But the daily deaths in Los Angeles are not even reported in this paper, let alone pictured. There is so much needed reporting that can be done just focusing on California and L.A.’s problems; this paper needs to relish in and exploit that niche. Trying to be the New York Times or Washington Post is not what is needed.

Paul Zimmelman, Marina Del Rey


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