Witness at the Border organization visits Uvalde to pay respects

The Witness at the Border group is calling their travels a “Journey for Justice.”

UVALDE – A group that is traveling along the U.S. - Mexico border over the next few weeks made a pit stop in Uvalde.

“We have groups that are still looking at the murals over there,” Magdaleno Rose Avila said.

The diverse group is traveling with the Witness at the Border organization.

Their goal is focused on shedding light on what’s happening along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But for the organizer, Karla Barber, she knew it was important to make a stop in Uvalde.

“I was...I knew that going to the elementary school, to Robb Elementary would be emotional. I mean I expected that. But it was even more emotional than I expected,” Barber said.

The group is made up of people from different backgrounds, many of whom are visiting Uvalde for the first time.

For Rose Avila, a long-time human rights activist, he knows the path of the 21 murals like the back of his hand.

“She was in awe and she said, ‘look at my daughter’s nose. They got the nose right.’ She said, ‘that’s my daughter’s nose,’” Rose Avila said.

He is not from Texas but when he heard about the Robb tragedy, he made it a point to come and help however he could.

On Sunday, that was in the form of a tour guide.

“His grandma and papa were talking to us,” Rose Avila said looking at Xavier Lopez’s mural.

“The things that happened at the school, it’s all related and we just felt like it was an important part of the story to understand,” Barber said.

The group started at Robb and walked to each mural before spending some time at the downtown plaza with the cross memorials, each taking time to mourn the 21.

“For those children and those teachers, their breath was taken away but as an observer, I felt like my breath was taken away,” Barber said.

Several of the victims’ families, including the Cazares and Lopez families, took time to speak with the group.

The Witness at the Border group started their journey in Brownsville Saturday and they plan to go all the way to the U.S. - Mexico border in California over the next few weeks.

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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