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Mexican firefighters head to Guatemala for search and rescue

El Marqués, Querétaro — Firemen and women from the municipality of El Marqués head to Guatemala after the eruption of Volcán de Fuego that left scores dead and thousands misplaced.

After more than 60 people perished in the recent volcano eruption, six members of the El Marqués fire department will provide assistance to those in need in Guatamaula. The mission, headed by commander Óscar Guevara, will also travel with two specialized search and rescue dogs.

“There are more than 200 disappeared who are allegedly buried in water, lava. We have two rescue dogs that are able to find bodies to locate trapped people,” explained Guevara.

Edgar Martinez, handler for Athos rescue dog said, “She has been preparing since she was a month and a half when she arrived to the corporation. Initially it was with a lot of play.

“We focus a lot on positive reinforcement, everything is game, the dog always associates finding an aroma with a prize. That’s how we manage to discriminate a scent between an area, water, earth.”

Athos has already participated in different rescues, among them those in Oaxaca after the earthquakes in Mexico City.

Guevara explained that due to coordination efforts with Guatemala, the firefighters already know the area, which will give an advantage when carrying out their rescue mission.

“They are very large areas. We know the land. We were there a month ago”.

The El Marqués firefighters are the first Mexican delegation to help with search and rescue in Guatemala.

The president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, spoke with his Guatemalan counterpart, Jimmy Morales, to whom he offered the assistance of the Mexican government in terms of civil protection for the rescue and aid to those affected after the eruption of the volcano.

Through a press release, the Official Residence of Los Pinos reported that the Mexican president reiterated the solidarity of our country for the loss of human lives.