Javier Methol: The 1972 Plane Crash Survivor Lived a Full Life

Almost every person aboard the plane that crashed in the Andes in 1972 went through a unique experience of their own, given the extreme set of circumstances in which they found themselves. As seen in Netflix’s ‘Society of the Snow,’ AKA ‘La Sociedad de la Nieve,’ one of the key figures in the aftermath of the crash was Javier Methol, who suffered a great loss during the crash but remained determined to move ahead for what was waiting for him at home. As such, it is hardly a wonder that people are curious about the latest updates in his life.

Who is Javier Methol?

Javier Methol was aboard Flight 571, which crashed in the Andes on October 13, 1972. His dear wife, Liliana Navarro Petraglia de Methol, accompanied him on the flight. Born on December 11, 1935, Javier was working with the Abal Hermanos SA cigarette factory, which was established by his maternal grandfather. The Uruguayan man did seem to be leading a happy life as a father of four when boarding the ill-fated flight, not realizing just how his life was doomed to change.

Following the crash of the plane in the Andes, Javier had a hard road ahead of him. His wife, Liliana, was the only woman who did not succumb to the injuries sustained during the initial crash. However, as the days passed, Javier and his wife faced a highly daunting dilemma. As it became obvious that the survivors would have to resort to eating flesh if they wanted to continue living, the couple could not help but balk at the idea.

In fact, Javier and Liliana were the last two to actually partake in human flesh, especially due to the latter’s strong religious convictions. It was only after someone compared the act to Holy Communion that they agreed to do so, likely for the sake of their children. However, during the avalanche that buried the survivors on October 29, 1972, Liliana unfortunately passed away. The loss was felt by everyone due to her motherly and nursing nature, though no one was as deeply impacted as Javier. The survivors agreed that they would not touch Liliana’s body while Javier himself started to build himself up in order to ensure that his children did not lose both of their parents.

How Did Javier Methol Die?

In the aftermath of the plane crash, Javier started to build his life back up. While he did get remarried to Argentine Ana María Amorrortu, Javier admitted that his first wife held a special place in his heart. With Liliana, he was the proud father of four: María Laura, Pablo Javier, Anna Inés, and Marie Noel, whom he loved very much. With Argentine, he welcomed four more children into this world: Guillermo Javier, Rafael Javier, Ignacio Javier, and Ximena María. Apart from his tobacco business, Javier was also the founder and first president of Viven Foundation.

As such, when Javier Methol passed away on June 4, 2015, the world keenly felt his loss. While his wife, four sons, and four daughters were undoubtedly devastated, the same could be said for the final survivors of the 1972 plane crash, who admitted that all 16 had formed a lifelong brotherhood bond. The businessman had been in a motorbike accident as a teenager as well, which resulted in the loss of an eye, a multiple-month coma, and memory loss. Javier was the first among the group to pass away, over 42 years since his rescue from the Andes. His death was caused by an aggressive form of cancer and impacted many. As of writing, he is laid to rest at Cementerio del Buceo in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Read More: Eduardo Strauch: Andes Plane Crash Survivor is Now a Painter