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French students murdered in Argentina

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10:41 CEST+02:00

Two young women murdered in northern Argentina have been confirmed as Cassandre Bouvier, 29, and Houria Moumni, 24, both students in Paris.

The bodies of the two women were found on Friday evening close to the town of Salta, a popular tourist region in the country. They had not been seen since July 16th.

Both had been beaten and shot and one of the women is also reported to have been raped. Their bodies were discovered in a wooded area by Argentinian tourists.

Friends and family spoke of two talented women who were passionate about Latin America and were destined for careers in academia.

They were both students at respected institute for Latin American studies, the Institut des hautes etudes de l’Amerique latine, IHEAL, part of the Paris-III-Sorbonne-Nouvelle university.

“They were brilliant young women,” said Georges Couffignal, the institute’s director, reported in newspaper Aujourd'hui.

“This is a place where everyone knows each other,” a fellow student told the newspaper. “We’re a real family here. We’ll be holding a ceremony in their honour when term starts.”

They had been in Argentina for a seminar in Buenos Aires at the end of June and had decided to take a holiday in the Salta region, close to the border with Bolivia.

The families of the two women were met yesterday by the minister for French people overseas, David Douillet. In a statement, the foreign ministry said “we have full confidence in the Argentine authorities with whom we are in constant contact to find those responsible for these murders.”

The families are expected to fly to Argentina on Monday morning.


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