Friends of the Cubans Who Died in Guatemala Raise Money To Repatriate Their Bodies

Marleny Hernández Alfonso and Ihanosky López Pérez died in an accident one week after leaving Cuba. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, February 7, 2024 — Friends of the Cubans Marleny Hernández Alfonso and Ihanosky López Pérez, animal rescuers, and computer engineer Arletis Velázquez Ramírez, three of the nine migrants who died in a traffic crash in Guatemala, ask for help to repatriate their bodies to the Island.

Their initiative is due to the delay of the Cuban Embassy in Guatemala, which, according to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, began the return procedure on February 4. “Officials are providing consular assistance to the families for the repatriation of the victims’ bodies,” he said on his X account.

However, Canadian animal rescuer Joanne Howard commented on Facebook that several relatives of Hernández, 46, and López, 38, “now face the expense of repatriating their bodies to Cuba and taking care of the four dogs and cats they left behind.” For this they need $10,000, which they are collecting through the GoFundMe platform. Up to this Tuesday, they have collected just over $4,000.

Howard said that Hernández worked for 16 years at the Tryp hotel, in the Cayería Norte de Ciego de Ávila, “where she was known and loved for her care of some 80 cats.” The couple who died in Guatemala, she said, undertook a rescue campaign and the transfer of these animals from the resorts to a safe place in Morón, in Ciego de Ávila.

Arletis Velázquez Ramírez se graduó en 2016 en la Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas (Facebook/Orland Cruz)
Arletis Velázquez Ramírez graduated in 2016 from the University of Information Sciences (Facebook/Orland Cruz)

Hernández, originally from Camagüey, “organized two sterilization campaigns in the resorts of Cayo Coco, which allowed the sterilization and castration of 55 cats, a lasting impact on wild cat populations.”

Arletis Velázquez, another of the Cubans who died in Guatemala, also left for the United States. Orland Cruz, a friend of the 31-year-old woman, said that in the town of Velasco (province of Holguín), where she was originally from, her mother and grandparents are devastated.

The family is trying to return Lety’s body, but the cost is more than 5,000 dollars, money they don’t have. Cruz mentioned that a campaign was started to raise the money.

The crash also killed Daicel Arzola Herrera, 37, Javier Pérez Toledo (31), Luis David Baños Lamadrid (25) and Luisa Reinosa Castillo (57), from Havana, in addition to Osmani Broche González (54), of Villa Clara, and ⁠Disney Alejandro Sandin Hernández (23), of Santiago de Cuba.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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