June 29, 2022
Exclusive photo of Lenilda's passport with her as she tried to cross the American desert Photo: Personal Archive

Two months after the tragic death in the American desert, his family still does not know when Lenilda will be buried in Brazil.

Rio – Family Lenilda Oliveira dos Santos, 49 years old, The tragic death of the nursing technician and mother of two daughters who caused the tragedy and uproar in September. Because, two months later, she was left to defend herself in the desert by the group that came with her when she crossed into the United States illegally, and is believed to have died, leaving the body, due to heat and thirst. On American soil, it is still waiting for liberation to return to Brazil, without a definite deadline. Part of the transaction, about US $ 11,000 collected on the Internet, has already been paid. But a series of hurdles delayed this long-awaited farewell at the Vale do Paraiso in Rondonia.

American Dream: ‘Coyote militia’ has already deported hundreds of illegal Brazilians to the United States through the desert

The family’s expectation was to say goodbye again It happened last October 20th – Exactly the date of her 50th birthday if she is alive -, which is not realized until today after 16 days. The first major unforeseen event occurred in exactly one week, during which parents believed the body would be placed on a flight to Brazil. The Undertaker had a serious health problem and had to be hospitalized immediately, which would delay the process. A new expert was hired by the company to be sent back.

Exclusive photo of the passport that Lenilda took with her when she tried to cross the American desert Photo: Personal Archive

The problem is that a bureaucratic issue prevents the Brazilian embassy from relocating because the New Mexico police did not complete the investigation and did not state the cause of death in the Brazilian’s death certificate. Body to Brazil. In a document released by the U.S. government, agents recorded the cause of death as a “pending cause.”

– It was so painful, it was all so hard – said Leningda’s brother Lacey Pereira.

Last moments:The Brazilian, who died in New Mexico in the United States, said in recent audios sent to his family, ‘I am dying of thirst.

Driving License: Document showing Leninda turns 50 on October 20 Photo: Personal Archive
Driving License: Document showing Leninda turns 50 on October 20 Photo: Personal Archive

Kleber Vilanova Jr., the owner of the company that has been advising Lenilda’s family in the United States since the tragedy, says he will continue to liaise with funerals and U.S. police to try to speed up the process. Family misery, which is already spreading, but without success. The arguments given to him were that investigators could not quickly investigate the cause of Lenilda’s death and therefore could not point it out in the document. The embassy says he was handcuffed, but insists he is trying to get the necessary documents from authorities. As for the family, he says it’s like they’ve been looking at an empty coffin for so long.

– The embassy contacted the agency affiliated with the New Mexico Institute of Legal Medicine (IML) in Brazil to see if they could do something to quickly sign the cause of death. However, due to the immigration crisis, it seems to me that they have accumulated many cases there, and the investigator in charge of Lenilda’s case explained that he has not yet signed the case because some parts of the investigation are pending – said Vilanova. . – To give you an idea, the body, when released at my request, was sent to Ohio, where a mini walk was held with his relatives who live here, but the police did not release the documents or belongings. She is in a funny bag. They are cited as evidence. We do not even have her original document and passport, which is also difficult.

Upon hearing about the matter through the Consulate General in Houston, Idamarati said the case was being closely monitored and that he was prepared to provide all appropriate assistance in accordance with current international agreements and local law.

Abandoned:‘On the day the body was found, they celebrated their arrival in the United States,’ says the Brazilian woman’s brother, who was abandoned in the desert by friends.

.  Photo: Art Teacher
. Photo: Art Teacher

Mummification status

Audios sent to her family by cellphone from September 5 to 7, before Lenilda died, reveal that she was left behind by childhood friends, countrymen from the small town, Coyote and the group that came with her. Vale do Paraiso in Rondonia – When she was unwell, at the very beginning of the crossing, he promised to get her back, not leaving her to her own devices. She will be found a few days later, her body already in a state of mummification, with hands on her face, in a scene where the Luna district police chief who found her calls her “one of the saddest people she has ever seen in her life.”

Lenilda dos Santos died of starvation and thirst across the border between Mexico and the United States: 'One of the saddest situations I have ever seen,' police say.
Lenilda dos Santos died of starvation and thirst across the border between Mexico and the United States: ‘One of the saddest situations I have ever seen,’ police say.

For this reason, and because of the great repercussions of the lawsuit, local investigators are believed to be wary of what happened on September 7: Leininda was thirsty and hot in the desert if she was attacked in any way, drank poison, or actually died. The case, while open, operates in secret.