Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez Friday announced he would be traveling to Miami in the United States after the bodies of close relatives of his wife were retrieved from the ruins of the Surfside Champlain Towers which collapsed in June.
First Lady Silvana López Moreira’s sister was among the victims of the tragedy, together with her husband, the couple’s children and their nanny, it was reported.
Abdo’s trip had been somehow announced by Foreign Minister Euclides Acevedo, once the bodies of three of the six Paraguayans who disappeared in the collapse of the Champlain Towers South building were identified.
On Thursday, the bodies of Sophia López Moreira, Luis Pettengill and the youngest of their three children were identified through DNA tests. Acevedo also announced the bodies of all the killed in the tragedy would be flown back home for burial.
The Champlain Towers South, a 12-story oceanfront building north of Miami Beach, collapsed as dozens of residents slept inside.
The discovery of Leidy Luna Villalba’s body was announced later Friday. She was the children’s nanny. But the other two children are still missing, although there are no hopes of finding any survivors at this point, since Miami-Dade County (Florida) authorities have announced they had moved from the search and rescue phase to the body recovery phase.
Abdo will stay in the US until July 13 for particular reasons related to the events that occurred in the city of Miami, according to him in his note sent to the Supreme Court of Justice.
Also tied to a South American was the 82-year-old Graciela Ponce de León, whose body was identified Friday. She was a second aunt of Uruguay’s First Lady Lorena Ponce de León and the mother of Argentine photographer Graciela Catarrossi, who also died on June 24 together with her Argentine father Gino. The family lived in apartment 501 of the building.
The 48-year-old Graciela Cattarossi had worked for major print media such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal Magazine, and local Vanity Fair and Travel and Leisure magazines, among other publications. Her seven year old daughter Stella also perished.