Thursday, March 18, 2004

In Memoriam

This is a continuation of the short biographies of the people killed in the Madrid bombings. Source: La Vanguardia.

Ines Novellon, nurse, 30, Alcala de Henares. Ines was an attractive young woman with long hair and dark eyes; she knew how to belly-dance and was the life of the party. She lived with her boyfriend; they had just bought an apartment. She also leaves a sister. Thursday was supposed to be Ines's day off, but she traded shifts as a favor to a co-worker.

Francisco Moreno Aragones, accountant, 56, Coslada. Francisco was victim number 200 to die, after three days in intensive care at the Doce de Octubre hospital. He was married and had two daughters and a son; he also leaves his mother, who lives next door to his family. Francisco was currently unemployed; he was traveling into Madrid Thursday morning to go job-hunting.

Ionut Popa, 23, and Petrica Geneva, 34, construction workers, Coslada. Ionut and Petrica were cousins and worked together; their boss, with whom they sometimes went to bars after work, has nothing but the kindest words for them. They were Romanian; both had Romanian girlfriends and lived among the 7000-strong Romanian community in Coslada, along with Petrica's sister. They had come to Madrid only a year ago. Petrica was known as "Pedro" and spoke perfect Spanish; he was a very valuable worker because he could fix anything, electricity, plumbing, and the like. He was also the best driver so he drove the truck.

Maria Dolores Duran Santiago, office worker, 34, Entrevias. Everyone called her "Lola". She was married and had a seventeen-month-old son. She was an avid traveler and reader. Lola had worked for the same company since 1995, and had risen from telephone receptionist to a top administrative position. Her company has established a scholarship fund in her name.

Maria Victoria Leon Moyano, bank employee, 30, Torrejon de Ardoz. She was going to marry her Argentinian boyfriend in June. Maria Victoria was from Malaga and was typically malaguena, outgoing and friendly, but with a serious side too. She met her boyfriend while they were both studying Economics at the university. Maria Victoria was an internal auditor for BSCH, Spain's largest bank. She didn't usually take the train; she was waiting for the delivery of the new car she had bought.

Juan Pastor Ferez, telephone technician, 51, El Pozo. Juan was a rather typical-looking middle-aged Spanish man, a little bald and a little chubby with a mustache. His family remembers him very fondly; they were all very close. He was married with a son and a nine-month-old granddaughter about whom he was crazy. Juan was the technical chief of Madrid's convention hall--he'd worked there for 21 years--, and he had been working double shifts to prepare the hall for the night of the election results, which are announced there. He had installed 180 telephone lines. Juan was well-known and liked among many people, including journalists. He enjoyed fishing and was interested in archaeology.

Maria Teresa Mora Valero, computer operator, and Jose Ramon Moreno Isarch, civil servant, Alcala de Henares. Jose Ramon worked in the regional Family and Social Services department and Teresa had a degree in history; she had worked for more than ten years at the Air Force logistical command. They had been dating for ten years and were living together in an apartment they had just bought in Alcala; they were going to get married in November. Their friends describe them as "cultured and sensitive". They both enjoyed classical music and old movies.

Rex Ferrer Reinado, student, 20, Torrejon de Ardoz. Rex was from the Philippines; first his father came to Spain, then brought over Rex's mother, and finally Rex and his sister in 1998. His father is a waiter in a well-known Madrid restaurant and his mother works in a food-processing factory. Rex graduated from high school in Torrejon and was studying computer science at the university; he also waited tables in a small restaurant part-time. Rex and his sister were going to return to the Philippines during their summer vacation, for the first time since they had left for Spain. He was on his way to a rehearsal for his church choir when his train blew up at Atocha.

Gloria Ines Bedoya, cook, 40, Torrejon de Ardoz. Gloria and her husband were "illegal aliens" from Colombia. She worked as a short-order cook and he works construction. They had been here in Spain for two years and things were not going particularly well; the husband wanted to go back to Colombia, where their children of 15 and 18 are living. Gloria Ines wanted to stay in Spain; she was cheerful and fun-loving, and enjoyed disco dancing and window-shopping. It took them more than 24 hours to identify her body.

Emilian Popescu, house painter, 44, Coslada. Emilian was Romanian. He and his family, who were very close, had been in Spain for eight years; he was married and had two sons, 19 and 15, both fine students whose education Emilian saved and scrimped for. Emilian's wife worked hard, too, as a cleaning woman. Emilian enjoyed sports, playing more than watching; he was religiously observant. His family remembers him above all as a good man. They were saving up to buy their own house.

There are some doubts about the exact number of victims. Forensic scientists have performed 194 autopsies. There are still thirteen body bags left to identify. Says La Vanguardia, in a triumph of euphemism, "Forensic sources said that for now they cannot assure how many persons the cited biological remains correspond to." Of course, investigation is continuing. It is believed that the remains belong to seven different people, because that is the number of missing persons who have still not turned up. So 194 + 7 = 201, which is where that particular number comes from.

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