Latin America

Argentina phone: Boy appeals for lost device with photos of mother

An 11-year-old boy in Argentina has sparked a national appeal after losing his mobile phone that contained pictures and videos of his mother who died from cancer.

Miguel Retamar says he is devastated after losing the phone while accompanying his grandmother to a bank in the western city of San Juan.

His mother, Pabla, died aged 37 earlier this year.

Miguel has been interviewed on national TV and in newspapers.

The story has caught the public's attention and made headlines in Argentina and other Latin American countries. Pictures of Miguel and his late mother have been widely shared on social media.

In a post on Facebook, he said he and his grandmother had taken a taxi to the bank on Monday, but when they arrived he realised he did not have the phone – a Samsung Galaxy – and the taxi had left.

"I don't have many photos or videos, and those remind me of my mother," he said.

Miguel's grandmother, Amanda Castro, said he was very sad.

"When my grandson realised he did not have the phone, he started to cry in such a way that I did too. He told me that he had lost everything from his mother," she told Channel 8.

She described her grandson as "my cane, my support".

"When Miguel was one year old, my daughter came to live in my house. We raised him together and since then we were inseparable," she said.

"Five months ago she died, and the pain was so deep that I doubted my own faith."

Miguel's uncle, Hugo Retamar, told the Tiempo de San Juan website (in Spanish) that they called the taxi firm but they believe the phone had been taken by another passenger without the driver's knowledge.

"The value is not in the phone itself, but in the most precious memories for a child who has just lost his mother," he said.

The family is now hoping that the national appeal will encourage someone to return the phone.

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