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Mission president serving in Bolivia passes away following 2-month battle with COVID-19

President José Batalla and Sister Valeria Batalla of the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
President José Maria Batalla, president of the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission, passed away July 13, 2021, following a two-month battle with COVID-19. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President José Maria Batalla, president of the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission, passed away Tuesday morning, July 13, of cardiac arrest after battling COVID-19 for nearly two months.

The death of President Batalla, 60, of Nordelta, Argentina, was acknowledged in a Newsroom statement from Sam Penrod, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sister Valeria Adriana Michalek Batalla, President Batalla’s wife and mission companion, was at her husband’s side when he passed at a rehabilitation hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Penrod said.

President and Sister Batalla had been serving as mission leaders in Bolivia since July 2020.

“We express our love and condolences to President Batalla’s family, along with the missionaries he led in the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission,” Penrod said. “We pray that all will feel the Savior’s love as they honor and remember this faithful leader and his devotion to the Church.”

President Batalla, of the Pacheco Ward in the Buenos Aires Argentina Litoral Stake, had previously served as an Area Seventy, stake president, bishop, branch president and missionary in the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Jose Maria Batalla and Rima Batalla.

President Batalla is survived by his wife, two daughters and two sons.

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