Guatemala: Repatriation of Migrants

Thousands of families in Central America live in wonder over what became of their loved ones who disappeared crossing the U.S.-México border illegally.

Anthropologists in Texas have conducted DNA testing on hundreds of unidentified migrant remains, categorizing and keeping them in boxes in hopes of one day determining names and reuniting them with their families. Thousands more have yet to be recovered.

The system in the U.S. used to recover and identify migrants who die along the U.S.-México border is flawed and bound by red tape. Matching the DNA of migrants who have died to immediate family members can take years.

This story will explore what is being done by the U.S. and Central American governments to repatriate the hundreds of migrants who die each year crossing the U.S.-México border.

Remembering the Dead: Guatemala

Cemeteries in Central America come to life when families decorate the graves of their loved ones. Yet many migrants who die trying to enter the U.S. have not been laid to rest—their bodies have yet to be returned.

When Migrants Die, Many Bodies Remain Unidentified

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks to Kristian Hernández of the Center for Public Integrity about the deaths of unidentified migrants, and how their families back home struggle with grief and closure.