Friday, March 19, 2004

In Memoriam

The 202nd victim of the Madrid bombings died yesterday afternoon. 45 of them were foreign. 168 injured people are still in the hospital, eight days after the bombings, with four in critical condition and 20 in very serious condition.

We've been posting short biographical sketches of the people who died. Our source is La Vanguardia.

Jose Garcia Sanchez, bank employee, 45, Vallecas. Jose was a handsome man, tall and youthful looking though a little balding at the corners. He was the assistant director at a Bankinter branch. He had two sons and was married. Jose was going to present his model for office management to the yearly meeting of his bank this week; he was nervous because he would have to speak in public before all the big bosses. He and his sons were Real Madrid fans and were interested in karate. They were going to New York for Easter vacation this year.

Jose Luis Tenesaca Betancourt, student, 17, Madrid. Jose Luis's father immigrated from Ecuador six years ago, and three years ago he brought over his wife and Jose Luis. Jose Luis's father is a heavy machinery mechanic; his son was studying to be an actor.

Nuria del Rio Menendez, 39, and Marta del Rio Menendez, 40, office workers, Santa Eugenia. Nuria leaves her husband and a five-year-old son; Marta leaves her husband and her sons of 11 and 7 years. They were a close family; they spent every summer vacation together with their cousins in Asturias, on the north coast.

Laura Isabel Laforga Bajon, teacher, 28, San Fernando de Henares. Laura lived with two friends in San Fernando, though she was thinking of moving in with her boyfriend in central Madrid so as not to have to get up early and catch the train anymore. She was a dedicated teacher; she taught Spanish to Romanian and Chinese children in a Vallecas public school.

Ney Fernando Torres Mendoza, construction worker, 38, Vallecas. Ney was from Ecuador; he was on the train that exploded at El Pozo with his wife, on the way to work. Ney's wife, Lourdes Beltran, was seriously injured. Ney worked construction and his wife was a maid. They had come here eight years ago and have a year-and-a-half old daughter. Ney sent some money every month to his mother, brother, and five sisters back home. Ney had a lot of friends in the Ecuadorian community; his friends had come to his apartment to watch the Real Madrid-Bayern Munich soccer game the night before the bombings. It took them twenty-four hours to identify him.

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