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Facebook helps reunite war-torn Guatemala family after three decades

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 7:09 EDT
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A view of the Facebook homepage on May 6, 2012. (AFP)
 
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Guatemalan siblings who lost contact during the country’s turbulent 1960-1996 civil strife have been reunited 31 years later, with some help from Facebook.

Ofelia, Avilio and Elsira Funez Velasquez had their tearful reunion at the headquarters of the Mutual Support Group, an activist with the social group, Enrique Barrera, said.

Sister and brother Ofelia and Avilio grew up in the family’s home town of La Democracia, in Huehuetenango, orphaned when their parents were killed in the years of violence.

Their sister Elsira, however, was adopted more than 20 years ago by a family in Honduras. In San Pedro Sula, she studied to be a nurse and started a family, all without knowing where her siblings were.

The reunion was made possible when the Mutual Support Group helped reunite another of the family’s children, Criserio, with brother Avilio.

When their picture was posted on Facebook, their missing sister Elsira spotted her brothers, and promptly contacted the Mutual Support Group for help.

“I felt so happy because I have found my sisters and brother,” said the woman, now 35, who was four when she lost track of her siblings.

Of the family’s seven children, four have been brought together while three are still missing: Victor, Estela and Roberta.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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