Shaman, former lawmaker among Mexico victims in Egypt

2015-09-16 08:50

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Mexico City - A shaman known as a man of peace and a former federal lawmaker were among the 14 Mexican tourists whose Egyptian vacation ended in a nightmarish military strike.

The Mexican government confirmed on Tuesday that eight of the 12 people mistakenly killed by Egyptian security forces on Sunday were Mexican citizens.

Six other Mexicans were wounded and stable at a Cairo hospital. Most of the tourists were from western Jalisco state.

While the authorities have not disclosed the names of all the victims, families and friends have given details about some of them:

The shaman

The family of Rafael Bejarano Rangel, a 41-year-old musician, travelled to Egypt with his mother, Marisela Rangel, who organized the trip for a group of friends.

Bejarano died and his mother was wounded in the strike, according to relatives.

His sister Gabriela said her brother was a "man of peace" and was on his second trip to Egypt.

Rafael financially supported the indigenous Huichol community in Mexico with proceeds from his concerts, providing potable water and helping build a school.

He helped the Huichol ensure "that their beautiful culture did not disappear," Gabriela said.

The salesman

Luis Barajas Fernandez, a former university professor from north-western Tamaulipas state, sold hospital equipment in Jalisco state.

Barajas, who was confirmed dead by the government, travelled to Egypt with his wife, Carmen Susana Calderon, who was wounded in the attack, and a niece whose status is unclear.

"We are trying to be calm ahead of what comes next, the repatriation of his remains," his sister Ana Barajas told Milenio television.

The ex-lawmaker

Maria Elena Cruz Munoz is a former deputy in Mexico's lower chamber of Congress and a member of the conservative opposition National Action Party (PAN).

She is a former director of the municipal women's centre in the western city of Guadalajara, according to Reforma newspaper.

She was among six people whose whereabouts were unknown on Monday, raising fears that she could be among the dead.

"We pray for her to be found okay," local Guadalajara lawmaker Mario Salazar Madera, a PAN member, wrote on Facebook.

Modelling agency executive

Queta Rojas, head of a modeling agency that bears her name, is also reported to have died.

"We want to confirm reports of her death," the agency Queta Rojas Modelos, based in Mexico City, said in a statement.

"For all of us who knew her, it is news that fills us with deep pain," the company added.

Its website describes Rojas as a woman who is "dedicated, entrepreneurial and above all visionary", and "one of the best known modelling agents in all of Mexico".

Read more on:    egypt  |  mexico  |  north africa

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