Six weeks on, there’s still no word on the whereabouts of Canadian Edith Blais and Luca Tacchetto of Italy, the travelers who went missing in Burkina Faso and haven’t been heard from since December 15.
Canadian officials say they are pressing on with the case and believe Blais is alive in the absence of any reason or information proving otherwise; Italian authorities too are seeking Tacchetto, who was remembered at a candlelight vigil organized by friends of the family last week in Padua.
Blais, 34, and Tacchetto, 30, have been traveling since last year and made stops in European countries before heading to the African continent. The couple frequently updated social media with their travels, with the last contact a Facebook photo album posted from Bobo-Dioulasso by Tacchetto. Blais spoke with her family on December 13, two days before the social media posts.
They safely traveled through Morocco, Mauritania and Mali before arriving in Burkina Faso, and were supposed to continue to Togo before Christmas to work with Zion’Gaïa, a tropical reforestation project. The organization director says they never heard from Blais and Tacchetto, and have joined in sharing the search information on social media.
The travelers’ next destination was believed to be Ouagadougou before moving onward to Togo, but the family says there is no record of a visa or a border crossing.
A Canadian media outlet went to West Africa to trace the couple’s steps, and spoke with a French farmer who was their host until the morning of December 16. Burkinabe authorities are aware of the situation and working with their counterparts amid a government reshuffle and deteriorating security crisis.
Image: Edith Blais