help climbers visciously attacked in Peru


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Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:30am PT
I was seriously considering making a donation to help these hapless adventurers replenish their stock of expensive toys, but then I remembered that I'm still making do with my old iPhone 4 with a screen that's been shattered for over 3 months...

Trad climber
Here and There
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:30am PT
The Supertopo is not triage. By and large, outside of war zones and medical units, much of the world is not triage. This isn't life and death. No lives will be lost if you withhold from snapping to judgment.

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
The crowdlit campaign has been closed for days.

update on the 7th.

update on the 8th in peruvian news,
the truck was towed to cusco to start the investigation.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:07pm PT
I don't think anyone contested whether the injuries were legit, but what their role was in receiving/causing them and the whole money thing....

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
actually a lot of people claimed this was a made up scam. I think the conversation over their role was a valid one. One thing lost in the chatter though is that they never directly asked the public for money.

Boulder climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
"Some cop departments in the U.S. do the same thing and make you sign a release before they "drop charges" and release you."

Any examples of that actually occurring that you can point to?

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:58pm PT
Again, I posted a link to the population of the village back in the thread, 450 people. 30 people is not the whole village, not even close.

I would still visit Peru in a heartbeat, this story doesn't deter me at all.

Trad climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:00pm PT
Peru is great- one my favorite SA countries. I'd fly there today and go to that very village.

I've been all over down there and have not once been asked for my "papers" by anyone not in uniform.

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:15pm PT
"Some cop departments in the U.S. do the same thing and make you sign a release before they "drop charges" and release you."

Any examples of that actually occurring that you can point to?

atchafalaya, I wrote up a long response to your question, hit send and got this:

Error - Forum Thread Not Found
Unfortunately the forum topic thread you've requested can not be found.

The original topic post may have been deleted by the thread's original author or by this website.

The thread is no longer available for reply.

I'm not gong to re-type my response but they are called release-dismissal agreements. Not common in California but more common in some other states. Not always enforceable.

Big Mike

Trad climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
Really? Deleted?

Must have been a glitch in the matrix

Edit Nice tip Karl. Thanks
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
Sometimes you can retrieve all the lost text in a situation like that just by hitting the "Back" button



Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:40pm PT
A newspaper in Peru confirms that the attack happened.

Google translation:

Cusco: American tourists were attacked by peasants Ocongate

Directorate of Foreign Trade and Tourism realized the fact based on police information, but said no formal complaint

A group of American tourists was attacked by several residents of the rural community of Pallca, in the district of Ocongate Quispicanchi province, Cusco , the night of December 29.

The correspondent of The Trade Area, Ralph Zapata, reported that the Department of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Cusco confirmed the beating from information from Ocongate police station, but said that did not enter any formal complaint at the above address .

Apparently, tourists entered the community, were not identified and there were problems with the language. Farmers have mistaken the rustlers.

One side of the story is told by Jennifer Lynne Wolfrom, one of the assaulted, in a blog. She noticed that other people are brutally beaten Palmer Joseph Doherty Wolfrom and Meghan Moore.

According to chronicles, were also stripped of their documents and belongings valued at thousands of dollars. The publication says it all happened after they tried to park your vehicle.

He claims that, without further explanation, the unit was locked and suddenly began to rain stones. Subsequently, although the occupants abandoned the truck, the persecution continued.

"There were at least 30 people and chased us throwing stones [...] We whipped and beaten for several hours between interrogation sessions," he says. It is not known if people arrested.

An American Expat living in Peru comments:

What reason do you have to doubt their account? It is reported in the account that the villagers communicated by cell phones which is surprising for such a remote location but I suppose it is just possible.

The Comercio article says they were confused with abigeos (cattle thieves) though it doesn't say where that info comes from. Cattle theft was an increasing problem when I worked in the Andahuayals/Ayacucho region in the first part of the last decade. In a typical district where I worked about half of the animals would be owned by a small number richer families. Most of their wealth was in their cattle from which they keep their relatively higher earnings (still low by US/European standards) so they are very keen to guard their assets. The other half of the animals would be owned by a great many poorer people. The loss of their animals (they may only have three or four animals) can result in a complete loss of revenue and destitution for their families. People would come in trucks from towns/cities and steal large numbers of cattle in one night. It was a major problem and would excite massive passions in people. The police were pretty useless to deal with this as typically you would have say two policemen covering a massive area. They would see the problem as something they couldn't possibly deal with.

So villagers would take it on themselves to defend themselves. Whilst I was there the government was actually encouraging them to buy guns for their guards. In smaller communities where police would not be present and would seldom visit the local authorities (campezino groups including presidente etc) would see themselves as the de facto law enforcement authority and would see it as their right to ask outsiders for ID documents. Unfortunatly as in any vigilanty type organisation there will be cases where groups beat, throw stones, shoot first and then ask questions later and innocent people will be injured/killed on occasions with this sort of system.

There can also be a lot of ignorance in these communities. I know that people in some villagers thought I was a pistacho ( a white foreigner who killed local people for human grease!) and I worked with a foreign archeological group and I know a section of some villagers thought they were only their to steal their gold and silver from huacos to take back to Europe.

But beleiving white foreigners are cattle rustlers? That is a type of ignorance I have never come across. It is possible that suspicions of cattle theft is just being used as an excuse for a criminal gang who have gained control of a campezino group. I have to say that that would be very very rare. All community campezino groups and especially presidentes de comunidades treated me with politeness and respect and were hospitable and welcoming. I never came across anything like this.

It should be looked into further and those responsibile brought to justice. Even if they did think they were defending cattle it is no excuse for this sort of behaviour. They need to learn that they cannot put themselves above the law even though in these areas they might see themselves as the only law there is.

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:49pm PT

Read the comments to the article. Peruvians are a lot more willing to accept that an attack happened then people on this thread.

Riley, I have a feeling that you and a few others are going to have eat a lot of crow. Just sayin...

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
Three months ago in Cusco.

Three helicopters were destroyed in the attack on the airfield in Cusco province
Peru rebels burn helicopters at jungle airfield

Three helicopters were destroyed in the attack on the airfield in Cusco province
Continue reading the main story
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Left-wing Shining Path rebels in Peru have burned three helicopters used by a private gas consortium, officials say.

The rebels carried out the attack in the central region of Cusco - the same area where they kidnapped a group of gas workers in April.

The Shining Path has been severely weakened since it started its insurgency in the 1980s.

However remnants continue to be active in parts of the country and have allied themselves with drug traffickers.

The attack in the early hours of Saturday happened at the airfield in Kiteni, in the jungle region of Cusco, close to the only natural gas pipeline in the country.

No-one was injured or abducted, the military said. It is not clear why the rebels attacked the airstrip.

Local media said the rebels may have been trying to ambush a military patrol, and when they failed, decided to attack the airstrip instead.

Following the incident, the consortium Transportadora de Gas del Peru (TGP) said it would suspend all maintenance work in the region.

"We trust that the state will provide the resources and take the steps necessary to reestablish security in the area," TGP said in a statement.

'War contribution'
In April, a group of 36 gas workers was briefly kidnapped by the Shining Path in the same area.

The rebels had reportedly demanded a "war contribution" from the gas workers' employer.

The Peruvian army has sent reinforcements to the area to protect the airfield.

The Maoist Shining Path rebel group posed a major challenge to the Peruvian state in the 1980s and early 1990s, but is now reduced to small gangs involved in cocaine trafficking.

More than a dozen members of the security forces have been killed in clashes with the rebels so far this year.

And while the government says it has defeated the rebels in their stronghold in the Alto Huallaga Valley, the guerrilla group has mounted a series of successful attack in Peru's south-eastern Apurimac and Ene valleys, where much of the country's coca is grown.

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:06pm PT
Comments from

Commented By: Javier Salazar
On: January 5, 2013. 4:29 pm

I'm writing down my comments I put in their Blog. For some reason they banned. I've just read about your sad history. I'm from Peru and Peru is not a safe place to go out off the tourist trail, I'm so sorry you didn't know it. Currently we have social uprising in places not related with tourism and there are many places even local Peruvian would never dare to go! (I'm not aware about what is happening in Ocongate region but for instance, the government has banned informal mining and many indigenous communities are involved in this economic activity. However the government is giving indigenous land in concession to foreign companies). I regret you didn't tak a Quechua speaker guide with you for visiting those remote areas. Due to the number of indigenous people attacking it was a bad idea to use bear spray. Indigenous people are totally different from Peruvian people living in cities, in 2009, 23 policemen were kidnapped and killed by indigenous people during a road block: Just few months ago 3 engineers were kidnapped by the Awajun community: (Spanish) Hey guys you are lucky to be alive! Did you visited the South American explorers Club before going that route? They are based in Cusco and they have updated and reliable information about Cusco surroundings. Dear travelers Peru is not safe out off beaten track, do not go to remote areas without local guides, If you local people from remote areas prompt you to show your documents, show your passport copies and ask to speak with the Presidente de la Comunidad in a very respectful manner (you are dealing with your lives!). There are many NGO working for indigenous communities in Peru and they will pay lawyers to tell the Peruvian authorities that this was a cultural confrontation. Again I want to demonstrate all my solidarity to you and my hope for a soon recovery.

Commented By: K. Michael VerKamp
On: January 8, 2013. 10:30 pm

I've been living and traveling to very remote communities in Peru for seven years. I'm Irish, American, and most recently Peruvian. I host visitors from more than 20 different countries in our wind turbine program, providing rural electrification. This all comes down to one thing - cultural sensitivity training. You can not expect remote indigenous communities to have the same "norms" (such as uniforms, or "police"). Also, even if they spoke Spanish (I do) in general the indigenous communities have an extremely difficult time understanding foreign accents. In these communities they are the authority, you are the visitor, and have to abide by there demands. They are generous and kind, if rightfully suspicious of any outsider, especially in such an unusual vehicle. I am certain of one thing, if they had a Peruvian guide with them, this never would have happened. The whole thing is just plane sad.


Trad climber
estes park
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:18pm PT road blocks and thrown rocks.

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:59pm PT
There are a variety of comments, here are some of the ones granite references. Also the author referred to them as campesinos, farmers or peasants, a very common word often used by the villagers themselves. I am not saying it is without racial connotations, translating racial connotations between languages is very complex, but it doesn't exactly carry the connotation commoner has and it shouldn't be done with google translate.

A few comments:
Whaaaaaaaattttttttt? Ultimamente no se que es lo que pasa en Cusco pero se observa mucha violencia. Ahi tenemos: Echarate, el asesinato de un alumno del colegio y ahora turistas.

-siempre fueron asi. un repaso x la historia no cuesta mucho.
-rocco rock, tiene razon esa gente es asi, salvajes.
What? I don't know what is going on around Cusco, but you can see a lot of violence. Here we have the murder of a college student, and now tourists.
-its always been like this, a review of history doesn't cost much.
-you are right, these people are like this. wild.

Eso pasa por andar solos sin un guía que conozca el idioma autóctono. Yo ni loco viajaría solo por esos lugares...
This is what happens for going around alone without a guide who knows the language. A crazy person wouldn't even travel alone in these places.

There are more comments as well, some racist, some not, some in support of the villagers, some not, and more than a few saying how strange the whole story is. As to whether this could have happened in this region, I think it clearly could have. I think it was a miscommunication of the American's part, I think there is missing information, possibly they lied? I don't know. I don't think they deserve to be stoned. They never directly asked for money from the public. I personally don't think they were trying to scam people.

patrick compton

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2013 - 07:10pm PT
somehow my theory that lime-green nano puffs turn 'common' Peruvians into whip wielding zombies is seeming more plausible all the time...


Boulder climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
Alright, so after 731 posts we have graniteclimber speculating their story is true and Riley speculating it may be false. Anyone else want to pull an opinion out of their ass based on some internet posts by unknown authors?

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 10, 2013 - 07:15pm PT
I think maybe you are the only one on this thread who hasn't atch.
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