Los sobrevivientes del edificio que se derrumbó en el sur de la Florida cuentan las dramáticas historias que vivieron durante este terrible hecho. Un adolescente cuenta el infierno que vivió tras caer en las manos de una banda de secuestradores en México.
28 Jun 2021 – 12:00 AM EDT
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the dramatic stories of the
victims and survivors of thebuilding that collapsed in south
florida.>> i heard another crack and
something told me, youve got torun.
>> the odyssey of a teenager andhis uncle who fell into a
criminal group.>> they put guns to our heads,
to our mouths, told us theywould kill us, hit us every day.
>> the tense wait of a primarycandidate in nicaragua.
she wants to die, butregulations for bid it.
the -- forbid it.the battle to specter choice.
>> euthanasia.because this disease is
catastrophic.>> the story of a family say
they experienced purgatory in acamp on the border.
>> it is not easy to sustain somuch suffering.
>> this and more, next on "aquiy ahora."
>> the partial collapse of acondo building in south florida
caused death and destruction.it also unleashed a
search-and-rescue operation forpossible survivors.
hello.i am teresa rodriguez.
good evening and welcome to"aqui y ahora."
angie sandoval has been insurfside, florida following the
stories after the collapse.>> illena has lost it all.
according to her, all she has isyour future.
i had a lot of nice things.a lot of material, things that
were spectacular.i found now you can live without
anything and be happy.and thank life.
>> a life she says changedcompletely last thursday when
her apartment on the sixth floorof the south tower became a
death trap.>> i was asleep.
something woke me up.something was on in the house,
the apartment.i thought, did i leave the
balcony door open?>> to this day she does not know
why she got up, but it was adecision that saved her life.
>> i heard another crack.when i saw the wall, there was
an opening and something told meyou have got to run.
i grabbed a wallet, i turned offa candle, and i ran.
>> this woman was in the secondfloor.
>> shes a nurse.she was hired to take care of
the presidential family fromparaguay.
>> they say that lady wassleeping.
the 23-year-old nanny hadtraveled to miami with her bosss
es, in-laws for the president ofparaguay, to care for their
children during summer break.>> it was the first time she had
left the country.she had never been so far from
her family and her country.it was her first time she was
going to the united states.for the whole family it was
representing a lot of things toher family.
she supports her family.>> with the money from that job
she had planned to pay her nextsemester in college.
>> she was always independent.she was in her last year of
college.she was a happy girl.
hard worker.studious, very well loved in her
hometown.the whole city is crying for
her.>> perhaps, says her family,
lady was tired and did not hearthe rumbling of the walls.
four stories above her, ilianawas following her survival
instincts.>> i ran to the emergency
staircase, and then i heard aninfernal noise.
i thought, dear god, somethinghas collapsed.
i began screaming, lord help me,i want to see my children and my
grandchildren.dont let me die, father.
>> she managed to escape.12 seconds later, more than half
the building with 135 apartmentscollapsed.
>> god saved me.god.
it was a miracle.>> when day broke, the light
revealed a karen this vision.hundreds -- revealed a h
orrendous vision.hundreds of families have been
living with uncertainty.>> you have to have faith.
my mother had faith and taughtme to have faith.
>> per mother is 80 years oldand is among those disappeared.
>> it was very difficult.if there is somebody resilient
and strong, it is my mother.>> hes also clinging to his
faith.for the last three days he has
been trying to find his brother,his sister-in-law, and his
niece.as far as he knew, they were
driving a rented car from northflorida.
>> the phone rings and rings,but no one answers.
>> he was not expecting hisfamily to arrive to miami until
friday, but after the collapseof the building, the owner of
the apartment where his familywould stay called him.
>> he asked if my brother wasall right, if he had any news.
>> he called the car rentalagency to confirm if his
brother-in-law had returned therental car.
>> they had returned the car,which leaves us to believe they
were in the apartment.>> the search and rescue
operations continue, andauthorities are investigating
how this 14-year-old buildingcollapse.
in a city where building codesare very strict.
it could be a tragedy that waspreviously announced.
these pictures are part of areport from 2018.
in the report, engineers at thetime said there were major
structural damages.the international university of
florida said last year that thearea where the building was had
been sinking.there could be other reasons,
according to this professor.>> number one, we know that a
contractor was doing repair workon the roof.
secondly, we have to see ifthere were any structural
changes in the last 40 years.and item three, the building is
in front of the ocean.>> the causes of the collapse
are still unknown, but somefamilies have already sued for
negligence against thecondominium board.
but for carlos, the mostimportant thing at this moment
is to find his son, who had comeon vacation after finishing his
last semester at the universityof chicago.
>> i was past and my soncontinues under the rubble.
>> for him, this is a desolatevision that brings him
unforgettable memories.and in the early 1990s, he says
he helped in the rescueoperation against -- in an
attack.>> it was the same thing.
it was like a bomb had gone off.>> in the last three days, the
peaceful surfside has become theepicenter of tears and
desperation.now the pain is much more
visible.>> you prepare for the worst and
hope for the best.>> authorities have asked
families for dna to compare themto the remains that are being
found under the concrete.people who work clinging to hope
now face the inevitable.>> i hope that she did not feel
anything and that she is ingods hands.
>> for ramsey, this will be hersecond time mourning in a short
amount of time.>> my father died of covid in
august.thats a lot.
>> this woman is among thefortunate ones because she
escaped death, but she is alsogrieving.
she says she has lost friends.and part of her life is under
the rubble.>> i have lost it all.
and what hurts most is i havelost the pictures of my parents.
i have no past.>> this is why, in the streets
of surfside, prayers are sent toheaven so that this nightmare
can end.>> that is horrible.
the investigations will lastmonths.
they must evaluate the structureto determine if the entire
building will need to bedemolished.
we will return with more from"aqui y ahora."
do not go anywhere.>> later, a lesson for a family
that waited on the order formonths.
but before then, they thoughtthey would not escape from their
captors alive.>> i was terrified.
i was responsible for mynephews life.
>>>> cruelty without limit wascaptured on video and sent to
families of immigrants that werekidnapped by groups affiliated
with drug traffickers.we hear about what a family
experienced what they call anightmare on the border.
>> angel is carrying heavyluggage.
>> i left my house on awednesday with my uncle.
>> when the pandemic began, hisschool in guatemala closed.
his uncle joel, his mothersbrother, helped his family sell.
but their income disappearedbecause of coronavirus.
the family decided to risk itall.
they called a man in the unitedstates who promised them the
keys of paradise.but the price to pay would be
too high.>> we gathered money with some
of my siblings.we sold some things in
guatemala.>> they had to travel over 2000
miles.the challenge was to be in
visible.to the authorities or to
criminals.after long days without water or
food, sometimes walking,sometimes getting rides.
they experienced what the humantraffickers promised would not
happen.>> how were you kidnapped?
>> we were standing and theycovered our faces.
and took us into a vehicle.they told us they would kill us.
>> angels mother in what amolfelt her life had been -- mother
in guatemala felt her life hadbeen taken from her.
she was waiting for them in theunited states.
she got a call hearing moaning.>> we thought they were being
killed.>> it did not take long for
angel to realize what hadhappened.
he says he was taken to a housein a remote area and that is
where the torture began.>> they threatened us.
they said they would kill us.they would put guns to our heads
and mouse a -- mouths and wouldhit us every day.
>> they began to extort them.he had to put together a ransom
of thousands of dollars.>> they told us if we did not
send the money, we would not seethem again.
>> angel remembers being takento a house that was falling
apart.he saw a woman there that was
also kidnapped.the kidnappers were furious
because her family had not paidthe rescue.
>> i remember they had some dogsthat they sicked on her.
they bit off one of her breastsin front of us.
>> she was terrorized by whatthe kidnappers were sending her.
>> they would send us a video ofmy nephew and my brother on
their knees.they would get hit in their
backs with rifles.>> they were finally able to get
together they money thekidnappers wanted.
but then they fell int o -- intoa second trap.
>> they were kidnapped twice.in total we had to pay $15,000
for each.>> they looked for a way to
escape, but it was impossible.all they knew was they were in
the middle of nowhere,surrounded by armed men.
>> i cried every day at thatplace.
asking god to take me out ofthere.
>> he remembers that he wasseparated from the group one
day.his uncle feared the worst.
>> i was terrified.terrified because i was
responsible for the life of mynephew.
>> he was crying because he wasafraid that i would be killed.
>> he says they left himabandoned in a desert area.
>> i had been beaten, and i sawthere was no one around and i
began looking for help.>> he walked in fear.
nothing let him believe he wassafe.
>> i remember some people helpedme, they gave me water.
>> they told him how to crossthe border.
he would have to do it in thedarkness.
he was worried about what mighthappen to his uncle.
he had seen with the kidnapperswere willing to do.
he crossed the border and gavehimself up to the authorities.
he was in a center forunaccompanied migrants.
josefa had to get two other jobsto secure the release of her
nephew.they met at the airport, and he
thanked her for saving him.>> ive been afraid to tell the
authorities.>> all they care about is money.
>> the family thought joel hadbeen killed.
the criminals called josefaagain after two months of
silence.a few days later, joel was
liberated.>> in front of me they would
kill, they would torture, theywould hurt people.
and the truth is that peopleshould think twice before coming
to the united states, because itis not the way that human
traffickers depict it.>> josefa told angels mother
that she would care for him asthough he were her son.
>> i tell him that together, wewill be able to achieve our
dreams.>> angel came carrying dreams
that his kidnappers were notable to take from them.
>> i want to go to school.i want to be somebody here.
i want to learn english well.and god willing, work.
>> according to human rightsfirst, in a report published
this week, over 3000 immigrantshave been kidnapped near the
border so far this year.the organization also says that
the number of cases hasincreased dramatically in the
last few weeks.we will be back with more "aqui
y ahora.">> the anguish and the
uncertainty experienced byfamilies of opposition leaders
detained by the current regime."
in nicaragua.>> every morning, he wakes up
wondering if this will be hislast day in freedom.
he is a primary candidate innicaragua, where the last days
he has a clear -- he hasexperienced a campaign of
arrests of opposition leaders.>> he says he lives day to day.
every day he checks his hands tomake sure he is not in
handcuffs.>> you never know when it is
going to happen to you.im surrounded by police
officers.>> he confesses he does not like
the city.he grew up in a rural area
surrounded by animals andnature.
he says he did not have accesscooling because his father was
also a political prisoner.now he says he feels like a
prisoner in the city.>> if i dont stop at the 13th
kilometer, the police stopped meand i have to go back.
>> three years ago, he took amicrophone during a session with
ortega, accusing him of beingresponsible for many deaths.
>> you are responsible for a lotof death.
the pico -- the people ofnicaragua demand you leave.
>> after our interview who wasdetained by one of the officers
who follows him constantly.in the last few weeks, the
daniel ortega regime has jailedbusinessmen, journalists, and
opposition leaders.among them, several primary
candidates who have expressedinterest in running against him
in the election later this year.cristiana chamorro, the daughter
of the former president, wasarrested.
>> the day before her capture onjune 1, she had expressed an
interest in running forpresident.
in a primary election.>> pedro is her older brother.
shes currently under housearrest.
>> i can say to you that shetold me that she would like to
go to the public, to show thatthe accusations are unfounded.
she would like to at least havethe right to defend herself.
>> has she had access to herattorney?
>> just half an hour on june 2.thats in the last three weeks.
>> the other detainees are in aprison known for its torture
chambers.pedro chamorro was arrested
hours after our interview.>> i had a conversation with
him.>> an ophthalmologist, age 42,
knew her father would bearrested.
all his colleagues were arresteddays before, and she tried
convincing him to evade theauthorities.
>> but my father said, look, ihave already been in jail when i
was a freedom fighter.so i hugged him.
>> victor hugo was arrested june11 at a shopping center.
he was a vice chancellor withdaniel ortega 30 years ago and
broke from them, creating a newpolitical party.
now they are all under arrest,accused of the same crime.
>> they are accused ofterrorism.
>> there was a law created justa few months ago by legislators
and denounced by theinternational community as a
tool that violates human rights.every day, family members go to
the doors of the president withthe hope that they will see
their detained loved ones, butso far, no one has.
>> we have gone three times aday.
when supposedly hes being fed.but in the last few days, they
have only gotten water.>> at the beginning of the year,
several people announced theirintention to run for president.
among them, medardo mairena.five of them are in prison,
accused of treason.>> why have you not in detained?
>> i have already been arrested.i am not hurting anybody.
wanting to run is something thepolitical constitution protects
me.>> what do you say to people who
dont trust you, you -- who saythat you may have an agreement
with the regime?>> im not that kind of person.
i wont do that.ive been through jail, ive
been tortured.i have never sold out.
>> three years ago, the firstpeople detained were medardo
mairena and pedro afteruprisings.
>> i was accused of terrorism.i was accused of murder.
>> he remembers that first camethe physical torture.
>> they take you like this.youre kicked until you
collapse, then youre kicked onthe floor.
>> then came the psychologicaltorture.
>> i had a three-year-olddaughter at the time, and they
said to me that if i did notnegotiate with the government,
that they would take me a videoshowing body parts of hers being
cut off.>> there are over 130 political
prisoners behind bars innicaragua.
despite the threats, mairenacontinues denouncing the
injustices in this country.every day there are fewer people
who dare to do so, but there areexceptions.
>> we need to talk.we want to be free.
we need to tell the truth.nicaragua has been kidnapped.
>> meanwhile, shes preparingfor a new chemotherapy session.
battling a cancer that returnedafter six years.
shes aware that time is not inher favor.
>> have you considered the factthat you might not see your
father again?>> i only ask god.
i ask, truly.i say, god, keep me alive and
give me the strength to live andto survive this terminal cancer,
to see my father free again andbe able to embrace him.
>> nicaragua has become achallenge for the biden
administration.while in central america,
theres an increase inauthoritarianism, the white
house and congress has put newsanctions against daniel ortega,
which could make the economicsituation even worse.
>> after a break, she says shewill fight to her last breath so
she will be allowed to die withdignity.
>> i want to die with dignity.all human beings should have
that right.>> tired of medical
appointments, pain, andmedication?
this mother wanted to end herlife.
but bureaucracy made herdecision impossible.
but boebert -- from bogota, wehear from a woman who only asked
to die with dignity >> fouryears ago she danced happily in
one of her trips.she had survived cancer, she
lived alone, and at 68, she hadtraveled a lot.
she had been a good wife andmother.
she has two grown daughters andis a happy grandmother.
she continues to support thecauses she always has.
but teo years ago she was -- twoyears ago she was diagnosed with
a nervous disease that diagnosedher muscles.
its a degenerative disorderthat is irreversible.
>> what is your life like now?>> my life now is boring.
im trapped in a useless body.it just causes me pain.
>> its the same condition thatstephen hawking experienced.
the body gets disconnectedlittle by little.
she refused to get to thatstate.
>> it is very painful.>> if there was something she
was sure of, it was that she didnot want to suffer.
she wanted to avoid her familyssuffering.
>> that is the moment i decidedthat i would request euthanasia.
>> in colombia, euthanasia isallowed, and she thought it
would be a simple process.but she never imagined that
after so much battling for herlife, she would have to battle
to die.>> to achieve a death with
dignity, that all human beingsshould have.
>> shes had to face severalobstacles in the process.
>> for practically three years ihave been fighting.
first it was cancer, and nowthis.
thats not living.its suffering.
>> the first problem was thecourts.
>> the judges were not in herfavor.
>> this man was in charge of hercase.
>> the response she got what shedid not have a terminal illness,
so she had to wait.yolandas response was, what
white have to wait for?doctors -- what do i have to
wait for?doctors said you have to wait
until you cannot move, youcannot chew, you cannot speak
anymore, and use oxygenpermanently.
>> she would have to reach thepoint that she was trying to
avoid.on the one hand, the law was in
her favor, but authorities wereagainst her request.
what followed was a judicialbattle.
>> attorneys need to intervenebecause doctors wont use the
process.>> in the 1990s, she had signed
a document saying she wanted todie with dignity.
she only fulfilled two of thethree requirements.
one for consent, two, pain orsuffering that would make her
life difficult.but according to her doctors,
there was one more that wasmissing.
>> she had to have an illnessthat was progressive and
terminal and that would end herlife relatively short -- in a
relatively short time.>> that is the dilemma.
>> how close does death have tobe to get euthanasia?
>> there is still a lot thatneeds to be decided.
there is no clarity right now.>> for francisco diaz, an ethics
professor, the problem is not inthe law, but how its
interpreted.>> the physician isnt
regulated.he could be blamed and accused
of homicide.>> she is lucid.
her eyes shine brightly and hasa sense of humor.
but in the last few months herhealth has deteriorated.
shes now in a wheelchair andneeds artificial respiration.
>> i am breathing with half or aquarter of my lung.
without proper breathing,everything is complicated.
>> she talks about her fears.>> i am afraid of repeating what
i experienced the day before.the fear that things will get
harder.the fear of having to sit all
day, going from a wheelchair tomy bed.
>> at 71, she lives with herdaughters again.
she doesnt leave her room.she continues to knit.
she prefers to read about death.>> ive read about that
wonderful place where there isno pain, no suffering.
a space where you go to behappy.
i will get there.>> a place that remains distant
for her, but for which shecontinues to fight.
>> the fight so that there canbe a euthanasia law that covers
more, that is more humane.that respects the life of the
person who is suffering.>> you shouldnt have to have a
terminal illness to geteuthanasia.
>> she and her attorney haveonce again requested
authorization to die withdignity.
in the meantime, she is sayinggoodbye to her children and
grandchildren.>> companions until death.
>> last friday, yolanda obtainedher wish and died, surrounded by
her loved ones.she fulfilled her promise to
fight to her last breath for theright to die with dignity.
we will be back.>> when we return, a family that
requested asylum remembers itsdays in purgatory.
>> i dont regret having doingthat.
i will never regret that.>> many families who came to the
united states seeking asylumremained, for many months,
living in difficult conditionsin camps on the border.
it would seem their patienceand sacrifice to enter the
country legally are bearingfruit.
the next story, which for manyparents and children, was a
>> well, my name is jose rolando.
i am from honduras.im an immigrant living in this
camp.>> my name is yanni right and i
am from doris.i am here -- i am from honduras.
i am here with my family with myhusband.
>> i decided to leave my countrywith my family after getting
death threats.they killed some family members,
an aunt and her husband.>> you can feel the fear that it
would happen to me, to myhusband, and to my children.
>> it took us from honduras,approximately three months.
when we got there, the unitedstates authorities told us y
oure in a program called mpp,and youre going to wait for
your trial in mexico.there was a camp in mexico next
to the river.that is how this camp grew.
there were people from all overguatemala, cuba, venezuela,
panama.>> we had nothing except our
clothing and some documents.>> i was trying to get some
money to buy a tent so ourchildren could be indoors.
>> at the beginning of march,when the pandemic began, we were
all afraid.it hurt us a lot as immigrants,
because the borders were closed.and they remained closed for a
very long time.we had an appointment to go to
our hearing.the court houses, the borders
were closed.we could not go to our hearing.
the authorities were against us.there were no human rights.
nothing like that.>> these are places that are not
suitable for humans to live,right?
it isnt easy to withstand somuch suffering.
>> a baby was born in front ofus there.
the father of the baby who wasborn says they called the
ambulance, and they said theydidnt pick up immigrants.
>> unless a person experiencesmoments like that, they will
never be able to imagine why.why as a parent you take that
the truth is i do not regretdoing it.
i will never regret that.>> my family and i spent 21
months in the migrant camp.there were many moments when we
lost hope.but we never lost faith.
on february 26, at around 7:00a.m., they gave us the news that
the united states would allow usto enter.
>> at this moment, were veryhappy.
first of all, thankful to god.we just got the news that
were leaving tomorrow.we crossed the bridge and it
felt like a dream.we gave our documents.
they took our pictures.and we left quickly.
we were on a bus.and we were free.
when we saw the city, we wereimpressed, as the plane was
landing.we got to the san francisco
airport.i felt when we arrived that it
was a dream.god works wonders.
>> what my three children areexperiencing, i can see them now
smile, i can see they are happynow in their new home.
i can say that i can sleeppeacefully tonight.
know that it was worth sufferingso much to have experienced so
many difficulties, to get tothis point.
>> just this week, the bidenadministration announced it
would expand its processing ofasylum claims during the remain
in mexico initiated by the trumpadministration.
this measure is estimated tobenefit about 10,000 people.
newell see you soon, and thankyou for your preference.