Several Latin Americans, some who reportedly travelled to get vaccinated, are among the missing after an apartment building collapsed in the Miami area earlier this week.
Nine Argentines, six Paraguayans and six Venezuelans were in the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida,, according to the foreign ministries of their countries. Colombia reported missing citizens without providing an official figure. The Miami Herald said on Friday that at least 36 Latin Americans, including from Chile, Cuba and Puerto Rico, are among the missing, and that some had travelled to the United States to receive vaccines.
People from across Latin America have travelled to the United States, especially Miami, seeking Covid-19 shots as their countries struggle to ramp up vaccination campaigns while the pandemic takes a huge toll. Latin America accounts for about a third of the world’s coronavirus deaths, yet only eight of the global population.
Among those missing, Andres Galfrascoli, an Argentine surgeon, travelled to Miami to get vaccinated and take a vacation, La Nación reported. A Colombian family did the same, extending their stay there for about a month, according to local Blu Radio.
Paraguay’s government confirmed that Sophia López Moreria, the sister-in-law of President Abdo Benitez, was among the missing along with her husband, another adult and three minors.
Venezuelan authorities led by Juan Guaidó, confirmed four persons in their mid-twenties and two retiree-aged people were among the missing.
A total of 159 people are missing and four died after the collapse, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said on Friday. She didn’t provide details about the causes of the accident as a mass rescue operation continues with the aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.