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Several South Americans Feared Lost In Surfside Tragedy, Including Sister of Paraguay's First Lady

Argentines Fabian Nunez (left), Andres Galfrascoli (right) and their adopted daughter Sofia.

At least 19 South American nationals are among the 99 people still unaccounted for in Surfside's condominium collapse. Several had come for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Among the almost 100 residents still unaccounted for in Thursday morning’s Surfside condominium collapse are at least 19 South Americans — and one family feared lost is part of Paraguay’s First Family.

Sophia López Moreira is the sister of Paraguay’s First Lady, Silvana López Moreira — wife of President Mario Abdo Benítez. They're also the daughters of one of Paraguay's richest men, Néstor López.

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Family members now fear the worst as Sophia is among the missing from the 12-story Champlain Towers South building that partially collapsed in Surfside — among the 99 people still missing in the catastrophe, as of Thursday night.

The Paraguayan consulate in Miami confirms her husband, Paraguayan businessman Luis Pettengill, their three children and a family friend are also missing. A relative in Paraguay told radio there the family was visiting Miami for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Sophia Lopez Moreira (top left), husband Luis Pettengill and their three children.

That was also apparently the case for several of the other South American nationals feared lost in the collapse. They include four Venezuelans, according to Venezuela’s consular affairs director; and nine Argentines, according to Argentina’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Three of the Argentines have been identified: Dr. Andrés Galfrascoli, his husband Fabian Núñez — and the 6-year-old daughter they’d recently adopted, Sofia. They were staying in a friend’s condominium – number 803.

Tim Padgett is the Americas editor for Miami NPR affiliate WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida.