Among the 159 missing after the collapse of a building in Miami there are at least 30 nationals from various Latin American countries, according to the newspaper. Miami Herald. Almost a dozen are Argentines; half a dozen from Paraguay, including the sister of the country’s first lady and her family; three Uruguayans and a Cuban-American family of three, as well as six Colombians. The rescue is closely followed in their home countries, as well as in Israel, given that a large number of residents in Champlain Towers South are Jewish.
The mix of retirees, tenants, permanent and temporary residents, and relatives or friends who were simply visiting, complicates the tracking and identification of the victims, a task in which the respective consulates have turned. According to local media, some of the victims had traveled to Miami to get vaccinated against covid-19, an extreme that has not been officially confirmed. The building, for residential use, was 12 stories high and had 136 homes. Some have recently been sold for a million dollars each. Several two-bedroom units were currently available, priced between $ 600,000 and $ 700,000.
The Argentine Foreign Ministry has reported this Friday that the search for the nine disappeared Argentine citizens continues. Among those missing are Andrés Galfrascoli, a 44-year-old plastic surgeon; his partner, Fabián Nuñez, 55; and Sofía Galfrascoli Nuñez, five years old, their daughter.
The firefighters are also searching under the rubble for another Argentine family of five: the photographer Andrea Cattarossi, 46; his sister Graciela and the youngest of his children, six years old, with whom he had visited; as well as the parents of both, Gino Cattarosi (86 years old) and Graciela (82 years old). The ninth Argentine of whom there is no news has been identified as Manuel Lafont, of legal age.
Among the six disappeared Paraguayans are the sister-in-law of President Mario Abdo Benítez, Sophia López Moreira; her husband, businessman Luis Pettengill; the couple’s three children and Lady Luna Villalba, a 23-year-old girl who traveled with the family as a nanny. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported the search tasks underway and the suspension of the president’s official agenda this Thursday and Friday.
Silvana López Moreira, first lady of Paraguay, has traveled to Miami to closely follow the search, as reported by the agency Reuters. According to a local Paraguayan radio station, the family had traveled to the city of Florida to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Republican Senator from Florida Marco Rubio has sent his team to the identification center to help relatives in the processing of humanitarian visas that allow them to travel to Miami.
The collapse has also touched the family of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet closely. The rescue teams are looking for lawyer Claudio Bonnefoy Bachelet, first cousin of General Alberto Bachelet, the father of the ex-president. This 85-year-old retiree had lived on the 10th floor of the building for more than ten years with his wife, Maricoy Obias, of Filipino origin and also disappeared.
According to the information provided by the Uruguayan consul in Miami, Eduardo Bouzout, for now there are three Uruguayan citizens missing: a married couple and an 82-year-old woman.
The Colombian Foreign Ministry reports that six Colombians resided in the building. “It is verified if they were in the building at the time of the events,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Minister, Martha Lucía Ramírez, also assured that she gave instructions to the consulate in Miami to provide all the support and assistance required by the families of the disappeared. However, a day after the collapse, a Medellín family looking for their relatives says they have not received enough more information.
Luis Fernando Barth (51), his wife, Catalina Gómez (44), and their daughter, Valeria Barth (14) appear on the list of disappeared. They had traveled to get vaccinated in Miami and had been staying in the building for a month. “They were staying in apartment 204, which was on the edge of a collapsed tower and another that remained standing,” Sergio Barth, Luis Fernando’s brother, told the local press. “I dare say that the living room of the apartment is intact and the rooms are collapsed,” added Barth. On Thursday, the day of the accident, the family planned to leave the building.
In Venezuela there is still no official report from the Government of Nicolás Maduro; But Carlos Vechio, named ambassador to the United States by Juan Guaidó, said there would be six Venezuelans on the list of disappeared. Vechio has assured that they collaborate with relatives of the disappeared to “channel humanitarian visas. These documents are issued in the United States and we will make the necessary connections for such management ”, he wrote on Twitter.
Peru does not have a report of citizens of its country among the victims or the disappeared, but it has set up a telephone line at the Miami consulate and a web page for relatives looking for their relatives. Ecuador also assured that, so far, it has no news of Ecuadorians injured or killed in the collapse of the building.
The three members of the Cuban-American Mora family also appear on the list of disappeared. The son, born in the United States, had gone to visit his parents, Cuban exiles in Miami, when the building collapsed, the newspaper reports. Miami Herald.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.