The Brazilian town of Chapeco, its buildings draped in the green colors of its devastated soccer club, prepared on Saturday to receive the bodies of victims of an air disaster in Colombia that killed 71 people and wiped out the team.The crash on Monday night shocked soccer fans the world over and plunged Brazil, South America’s biggest nation, into mourning. The BAe146 regional airliner operated by Bolivian charter company LAMIA had radioed that it was running out of fuel before smashing into a hillside outside the Colombian city of Medellin. (Also read: Rivals rule out final league game against Chapecoense)Only six people survived, including just three members of the soccer side Chapecoense en route to the Copa Sudamericana final, the biggest game in its history.Reports in Brazilian media that the plane, which circled outside Medellin for 16 minutes while another aircraft made an emergency landing, had barely enough fuel for the flight from Bolivia have outraged relatives of the victims.Bolivian President Evo Morales pledged to take “drastic measures” to determine what caused the crash. Bolivia has suspended LAMIA’s operating license and replaced the national aviation authority’s management.In Chapeco, a small agricultural town in southern Brazil, dozens of fans kept vigil at Chapecoense’s stadium, where an impromptu shrine swelled with fresh flowers and handmade posters. Green and black cloth was draped from fences, store fronts and construction sites. (Also read: Dozens of hearses to take Colombia crash victims toward final flight home)Sidnei de Oliveira Dias, a 25-year-old fan, said an open air wake due to be held on Saturday at the stadium would provide a moment of closure for a town whose excitement at Wednesday night’s cup final had turned to anguish.advertisementSome 100,000 fans, about half the city’s population, were expected to attend, as was Gianni Infantino, president of world soccer governing body FIFA. Temporary structures in the stadium will shelter the coffins of players, staff and journalists during the wake.”We’re still waiting for our heroes to return,” Dias said. “We still can’t believe it. Though now we know they’re never coming back.”The coffins were scheduled to arrive from Colombia aboard an Air Force transport plane at around 7:00 a.m. (0900 GMT) on Saturday. (Also read: Brazilian clubs offer to loan players to Chapecoense after plane crash)Brazilian President Michel Temer will preside over a brief ceremony at the airport, where he was due to posthumously decorate the victims and offer condolences to their families.However, he will not attend the wake in the stadium, amid concerns over possible political protests, his advisers said.A BANNER OF THANKSIn response to outpourings of support from soccer fans and clubs around the globe, Chapecoense hung a huge black banner from the outer wall of its stadium.”We looked for one word to thank all the kindness and we found many,” it read, followed by the words “thank you” in more than a dozen languages.Workers laid out giant banners on the field, decorated with white flowers, carrying the logos of Chapecoense and Atltico Nacional, the Colombian team that held a memorial ceremony on Wednesday instead of hosting the Cup final.Cleusa Eichner, 52, said she would come to the stadium on Saturday – as she had done so many times for games – but was wary about seeing the players caskets.”I can still see those players entering with their kids in their arms. I’d rather keep that image in my head, hold on to that happiness, than replace it with nothing.”Brazilian media, citing an internal document, reported that an official at Bolivia’s aviation agency raised concerns about LAMIA’s flight plan.The official urged the airline to come up with an alternative route because the journey of 4 hours and 22 minutes was the same length as the plane’s maximum flight range.A Colombian civil aviation document seen by Reuters confirmed the flight time was set to be 4 hours and 22 minutes.LAMIA Chief Executive Officer Gustavo Vargas on Wednesday said the plane had been correctly inspected before departure and should have had enough fuel for about 4-1/2 hours. He said it was the pilot’s responsibility to decide whether to stop to refuel.The pilot’s father-in-law, Roger Pinto Molina, who lives in Brazil, apologized to the Brazilian people in an interview with GloboNews.”We want to say to millions of Brazilians, especially the families, sons, parents and brothers in Chapeco that we are very sorry,” Molina said.
Indigenous women in Vancouver say the release of a report calling the disappearance and murder of Indigenous women and girls a “genocide” marks the end of a painful process but justice will require action.Sharon McIvor says she has been part of the fight for the rights of Indigenous women for more than 40 years and she didn’t believe she would live to see the day that the report would be released.But she says it will only have teeth if the federal government enacts laws to protect Indigenous women, including amending the Indian Act to give women equal status to men.Others spoke at a news conference of the difficulty in participating in the inquiry process.Lorelei Williams says despite working to deal with trauma she has experienced, she almost couldn’t get out of bed on the day she was to testify.Her aunt Belinda Williams has been missing for more than 40 years and the DNA of her cousin Tanya Holyk was found on serial killer Robert Pickton’s farm.The report from the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls contains more than 200 recommendations.The Canadian Press