Victimizing the Family


Victimizing the Family

Anatasio’s killing by border enforcement agents has had a tremendous impact on the social, economic, and emotional well-being of his family. Maria Puga notes that Anastasio was a kind and loving partner and father. He would play with his children all the time, taking them to the beach, park, and movies. His death has devastated the family, particular the two younger kids, the twins Daniel and Daniela. Daniel feels lonely, gets sad, and cries. He just wants his father back. He had to see a therapist to deal with Anastasio’s death. Like Daniel, Daniela cries a lot. She is also always upset and does not socialize at school. After Anastasio’s death, she spent a lot of time looking at pictures of him.

Initially, Maria did not tell the younger children how Anatasio had died. She just said that he was sick and had passed away. But the children saw a news story about Anastasio on TV. She then told him that their father had been killed by border enforcement agents. Their reaction was to ask why they had killed him.

Anastasio’s death has also impacted the other children. Fabian, the older boy, would say that he did not want to live and spent much time laying down and being angry. He ended up dropping out of school when he was 16.  Daisy would lock herself up in a room and cry. And Yeimi talks about how everyone in the family is angry about what happened to their father.


‘Well, the family has just basically crumbled down. The person who was the, the head of the family is gone. My children cannot accept their dad’s death. Daniel tells me, “go to heaven and bring my dad”. That’s what keeps on affecting us. There are things that I cannot buy for my children, either, because their dad is no there to buy for them what they need. Fabian, who is a teenager, he say if his dad were here, he would probably have a cell phone. I cannot give him that with my salary.’

Maria Puga, Anastasio’s life partner

Anastasio’s Story

Interview with Anastasio’s daughter Yeimi Hernandez.

Photo of Anastasio with two of his children.
Undated photo of Anastasio with two of his children.






[imagecaption]Widely circulating photo. Typically credited as being provided by the Hernandez Rojas family.[/imagecaption]


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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.