Venezuelan families on retreat missing in the Andes


More than a dozen people are missing in Venezuela after failing to return from a spiritual retreat in the Andes mountains, authorities said.

Between 16 and 20 people, including a newborn baby and several young children, are believed to have been missing since Aug. 22, BBC reported.

Neighbors in La Grita, in Venezuela’s Táchira state, told local media that the families initially headed into the mountains for a four-day spiritual retreat.

The mayor of the town, which is located at 4,725 feet, called the families’ disappearance “very suspicious.”

“There are several theories [of what may have happened] but we won’t know what really happened until the investigations have been concluded,” he said. 

A member of Civil Protection point out the area on a map where they will search for the families.
A Civil Protection member points out the area on a map where they will search for the families.
AFP via Getty Images
Family members are reportedly desperate as the search drags on.
Family members are reportedly desperate as the search drags on.
AFP via Getty Images
Dogs and drones have been recruited to aid in the search.
Dogs and drones have been recruited to aid in the search.
AFP via Getty Images

A priest in La Grita reported that the group was following a woman who claimed to have had a revelation from the Virgin Mary.

The priest subsequently warned his congregation about the dangers of “fanatics.”

As of Tuesday, drones and dogs were being deployed alongside local law enforcement. Recent searches of the area where the group was last seen turned up no evidence.



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