Three Argentine climbers found dead in the Andes

The Chilean government confirmed bodies found on Marmolejo Mountain belong to Raúl Espir, Sergio Berardo, and Ignacio Lucero, who had been missing since Wednesday

The Chilean National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapred for its Spanish initials) confirmed on Monday that the three Argentine mountain climbers who went missing last week in the Andes are dead.

The organism said they would continue to work in the area to “establish a course of action in order to retrieve the bodies.”

“The meteorological conditions are not in our favor: right now there is a forecast of snow in the area tomorrow,” said Miguel Muñoz, regional director of Senapred. “On Wednesday there should be a meteorological window to bring back the bodies.” 

Senapred and Chile’s Carabineros told Télam that specialized personnel from the Chilean Special Operations Police Group (GOPE) were the ones who found the bodies in the Marmolejo Mountain, in a multi-disciplinary high mountain deployment. 

Three Argentine mountaineers had been missing since last Wednesday in Marmolejo mountain, which is 6,108 meters. Its summit marks the border between Argentina and Chile. 

The three men were General San Martín Mayor Raúl Espir, Sergio Berardo, a notary from La Pampa, and Mendoza-born mountain guide Ignacio Lucero.

“We deeply regret the passing of General San Martín mayor Raúl Espir,” posted La Pampa governor Sergio Zilioto on X (formerly Twitter).

“His profound convictions and commitment to the service of his community will surely be remembered. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones in such painful times”.

According to the Argentine Air Force, Defense Minister Jorge Taiana had instructed the Argentine Air Force to “offer all resources to the Chilean Air Force in order to collaborate with the rescue operation” of the three Argentine climbers.   

Previously, Senapred had reported that they had conducted “an overflight of the area on a helicopter” on Saturday and that personnel from the Andes Emergency Corps found the climbers’ tent in their base camp.

—with information by Télam


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