Grandfather, 65, and grandkids, aged 10 and 15, drown while attempting to cross from Venezuela to Colombia to plan trip for much needed supplies

  • Pedro Ascanio and his grandchildren, Anderson Pérez, 10, and Yadira Pérez, 15, drowned while crossing a river from Venezuela to Colombia on Monday
  • Ascanio and the children tried to walk across the Pamplonita River when they were swept away by a rapid current
  • Juan Pérez said Ascanio asked for permission to take his granddaughter on an errand to find out the price of a border crossing trip for supplies
  • Yadira Pérez’s body was recovered by her father Monday. A search for Ascanio and Anderson Pérez was called off due to darkness, but their bodies were recovered Tuesday 

By Adry Torres For

Published: | Updated:

A Colombian grandfather and his two grandchildren drowned while they were trying to cross a river from Venezuela to Colombia.

Pedro Ascanio, 65, left the Venezuelan town of Pedro María Ureña on Monday afternoon with Anderson Pérez, 10, and Yadira Pérez, 15, heading to the Colombia border city of Cúcuta. Ascanio was seeking information about taking a trip to get groceries and supplies.

About 700 people cross the border river daily to purchase food and medicine due to its scarcity in Venezuela, which at one time was one of the most prosperous economies in Latin America, Carlos Correa, a Cúcuta resident, told Colombian outlet RCN Radio.

Juan Pérez told Colombian newspaper La Nación that Ascanio had asked him if his daughter could join him, but was unaware that Ascanio also received permission from Pérez’s wife to take his son too.

Colombian grandfather Pedro Ascanio (pictured) drowned with his grandchildren Anderson Pérez, 10, and Yadira Pérez, 15, while they were trying to cross from Venezuela to Colombia through the Pamplonita River on Monday.

A search for Anderson Pérez was postponed Monday night due to darkness, but the fire department from the Colombian city of Cúcuta and his family recovered his body Tuesday, a day after he drowned with his sister and grandfather

Colombian officials carry the remains of one of the three family members who were recovered after they drowned in the Pamplonita River, which divides the borders of Colombia and Venezuela

Ascanio and the children left the the Pérez home in Santa Rosa around 3pm local time and when they had not returned around sundown, Pérez crossed the river to check on the trio.

When a resident told him that the body of a young girl was found in a shallow part of the river, Pérez rushed down the river and found Yadira Pérez unresponsive between the rocks and the water.

‘I took it out of the river myself. I tried to revive her, to do everything for her to come back to me, but it was too late,’ Pérez said. ‘Her little body was stiff. I cleaned her cheeks and hugged her.’

Yadira Pérez drowned while trying to cross from Venezuela to Colombia on Monday as she accompanied her grandfather and younger brother on an errand

A woman receives aid after learning that her niece drowned in a river on the border of Colombia and Venezuela on Monday. The remains of her father and nephew were found Tuesday

Colombian authorities from the city of Cúcuta lift the body of one of the three members of a family who drowned Monday after they were swept by a rip current in the Pamplonita River

Authorities aided the family searching for Ascanio and Anderson Pérez, but stopped Monday night due to darkness.

When the search resumed Tuesday morning, the Cúcuta Fire Department located the remains of Ascanio and Anderson Pérez, which were spotted near each other.

Neighboring Colombia has opened its borders to Venezuelans fleeing social and economic destruction.

The United Nations high commissioner for refugees estimates at least 5.4 million Venezuelans have been displaced and are now living in other Latin American countries.

More than 1.7 million Venezuelans reside in Colombia, which is set to grant most of them 10-year legal status.

On Monday, the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) and Venezuelan officials said they reached a deal to supply food to school children.

The program is expected to reach 185,000 children in the crisis-stricken country this year, and aims to expand to 1.5 million by the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

‘The children and the schools will be at the centre of our operation,’ World Food Program executive director David Beasley said in a statement. ‘We believe the school is the most appropriate platform for WFP to reach communities in an independent manner.’


Source: Daily Mail