The president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, travels to Miami this Friday with the first lady, Silvana López-Moreira, after the discovery of the bodies of three of his missing relatives was confirmed in the collapse of the Champlain Towers South building.
The president will remain in the US until July 13 “for particular reasons related to the events that occurred in the city of Miami,” as reported in his note sent to the Supreme Court of Justice.
The Paraguayan Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday night the recovery of “the bodies of three nationals” among the rubble of the collapsed building.
Hours earlier, the chancellor, Euclides Acevedo, had informed the local media that it was Sophía López Moreira, sister of the first lady, her husband, Luis Pettengill, and one of their children.
In the Champlain Towers South building, where the deceased had an apartment, there were also two other daughters of the couple that night and Lady Luna Villalba, a 23-year-old girl who traveled as the family’s nanny, whose bodies have not yet been found.
“The national Foreign Ministry will continue to provide support to the Luna Villalba, López Moreira and Pettengill families in these difficult circumstances, in the process of recovering their loved ones,” added Thursday’s statement.
On June 24, after hearing the news of the collapse, Abdo Benítez suspended his schedule and stayed at the presidential residence of Mburuvicha Roga for the rest of the week.
For her part, the first lady traveled with other relatives to Miami to follow the rescue tasks from the place, although in the middle of this week she had returned to Paraguay.
Last weekend, Lady Luna Villalba’s mother and cousin also flew to Miami, as reported by the Foreign Ministry on that date.
The death toll in the collapsed building in Miami-Dade, in southeastern Florida, stands at 64, 15 days after the collapse, according to official figures.
At an evening press conference this Thursday, the mayor of Miami-Dade, Daniella Levine Cava, reported that so far there are 76 people missing due to the partial collapse of the building, in the town of Surfside, while there are 200 residents located.
Miami-Dade County (Florida) authorities announced this week the “difficult decision” to move from the search and rescue phase to the “body recovery” phase.
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