Sunday, March 14, 2004

The death toll in the Madrid bombings has reached 200, and the wounded count is at 1511. 266 people are still hospitalized, with 17 in critical condition, 41 in very serious condition, 138 in serious condition, 42 in good condition, and 28 in an undisclosed condition.

La Vanguardia is running a series of short biographies of the victims, which we are summarizing here as a tribute to the dead.

Carlos Tortosa Garcia, chemical engineer, 26, San Fernando de Henares. Carlos got up at 6:30 every day, drove to the train station, took the train to Atocha, and there picked up the high-speed train to the Repsol plant in Puertollano, south of Madrid. He commuted 400 kilometers a day. Ironically, Carlos had survived last year's accidental explosion at the Puertollano plant that killed nine of his co-workers. He was a pacifist activist; he'd gone to all the demonstrations against the Iraq war. He had just bought a car and was saving up to buy an apartment and marry his girlfriend. Carlos's father is a well-known CC.OO. union leader.

Carlos Fernandez, construction worker, 39, Alcala de Henares. Carlos arrived in Spain from Peru only 24 days before his death. He was a native of Lima. He had been a government bureaucrat there, but could not live on his salary, so he emigrated and found a job working construction in Madrid. His three brothers in Madrid encouraged him to move there; he lived in an apartment with them in Alcala. Carlos leaves his widow, a son, and a daughter in Peru.

Jose Miguel Valderrama Lopez, bank employee, 25, San Fernando de Henares. Jose Miguel lived with his parents and his brother, but soon he was going to move with his girlfriend of five years into an apartment he had bought. He enjoyed traveling and was famous among his friends for his attention to neatness and order. He was politically active and a union member. His 26th birthday would have been today.

Hector Manuel Figueroa Prado, plasterer, 33, Madrid. Hector was a native of Santiago, Chile. He, his wife, and their seven-year-old son arrived in Madrid a year ago. Hector and his father-in-law worked together as plasterers and hoped to open their own business someday. His father-in-law happened to catch an earlier train than Hector on the morning of the 11th and was not hurt. Hector was an evangelical Protestant and his religion was very important to him. He died at El Pozo.

Maria Jose Alvares Ordonez, civil servant, 48, Alcala de Henares. Maria Jose worked in the Education department of the Madrid regional government. Her parents were farmers in Asturias; Maria Jose moved to Alcala for work and married and then separated. She leaves a 23-year-old son, her parents, and a sister.

David Santamaria Garcia, technician, 22, Guadalajara. David was on the train because he was going to have his medical checkup; he was finishing his internship at Alstom, the train manufacturing company. He was going to be a maintenance technician on the high-speed train line. David was traveling along with a friend and co-worker, Guillermo Senent, who was also killed. He was known as a fine soccer player; he had played on the Guadalajara B team. He leaves his parents, sister, and girlfriend. His body was "very much damaged by the shock wave".

Neil Hebe Astocondor Masgo, mover, 34, Coslada. Neil was a native of Lima, Peru. He had been in Spain for two years and had just received his legalization papers; he worked for a moving company. Neil's wife lived with him in Coslada, but their children of 12 and 10 years had stayed behind in Lima. He died in the field hospital at El Pozo.

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