help climbers visciously attacked in Peru

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Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:18pm PT
That they were required to sign a statement and then turned loose is what indicates that their account is more truth then fiction.

Ahh, but they were not turned loose - as per the story from the sister - they were turned over to the police and taken via ambulance with police escort to a clinic - they were upset and still in police custody and wanting to go to another clinic - they were assessed by a legal doctor etc..

As stated in Jed's letter to his friends a few days later "the f*#king idiots couldn't get the secure box open on the truck" so all the police were able to retrieve was a couple bank cards and maybe 1 passport? (can't remember) So the americans were not aloud to go back into the truck to retrieve their things before leaving.

The truck remains in impound under investigation as per the most recent news article and the americans have left the country. They must be home and talking to lawyers and probably worried they are going to be sued for fraud because at the very least the story is untruthful.

A rough deal for them losing the truck and the free camper - but I am very sure they will not be going back to Peru and they have forfeited the truck - for reasons something alone the lines of what was stated in the Expatperu explanation.

I'm guessing there is something else involved here as well - it escalated but I have a hunch another factor might have been that drugs were involved or found in the truck? It maybe it was just the drinking?
Cheap cocaine?
I mean who knows?

At any rate - i do feel bad for them now a little - whether this is 100 percent their fault or not it is a shitty way to end an incredible trip and they have paid a high price.

I read another report some where from an American woman who has been to this village and traveled in this area a lot and she states the story is utterly ridiculous in every way.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
A newspaper in Peru confirms that the attack happened.

http://elcomercio.pe/actualidad/1518317/noticia-cusco-turistas-estadounidenses-fueron-agredidos-campesinos-ocongate

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.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:49pm PT
http://elcomercio.pe/actualidad/1518317/noticia-cusco-turistas-estadounidenses-fueron-agredidos-campesinos-ocongate

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...
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
Three months ago in Cusco.


Three helicopters were destroyed in the attack on the airfield in Cusco province

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-19858757
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
Related Stories

Major rebel killed in Peru clash
Peruvian troops killed by rebels
Peruvian troops liberate hostages
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.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:06pm PT
Comments from http://www.peruthisweek.com/news-3370-report-three-american-tourists-brutally-attacked-in-cusco-province/:

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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Peruvian_political_crisis Just few months ago 3 engineers were kidnapped by the Awajun community: (Spanish) http://peru.com/actualidad/mi-ciudad/wilfredo-pedraza-comunidad-awajun-libero-trabajadores-secuestrados-cajamarca-noticia-100414 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.

pat

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:18pm PT
http://www.trippytraveller.com/a-few-hours-in-peru/ road blocks and thrown rocks.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
It would seem not Graniteclimber - i only translated the last two -the below is what i got. I read another facebook thread for expats and it also started out with everyone believing but quickly went the other way after a little discussion.
And also remember - Peru has very different social classes and people can be incredibly racist in Peru. Imagine a racist white southern land owner talking about black people.
Interesting the author refers to the villagers as "commoners"

Just the fact that their truck is impounded means there is more to the story and a serious on going investigation - maybe it comes down to a he said/ she said thing now..
Whatever it is - i am 1000 percent sure they were not being truthful and telling us the entire story.
I also feel they have suffered enough and have no problem letting this die.
I am a great lover of travel and no matter what mistakes they made nobody deserves losing their truck, camper and dream trip...



For Juan Perez, you don't know nothing, would be better that you do not think you do with subjectivity, commoners are tough, but respectful, Act relentlessly when something disturbs them or attacks, those tourists committed an offense. Wild is the crime in lima.


These gringos think q can do what they want in Cusco first begins to respect others and after i will i will abide to someone you like q come asu home without invitation is the same if you go to the US.



these yankees think that q they can do want it in cusco first it starts for respecting the others and later I will respect someone he(she) would like q it avenges asu house without invitation it is the same if you go to the USA.


pat

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:59pm 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.

-Pat
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
somehow my theory that lime-green nano puffs turn 'common' Peruvians into whip wielding zombies is seeming more plausible all the time...

t*r

Mountain climber
where the wild things are
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:11pm PT
i don't understand why people are bagging on the climbers for having nano puffs. they're a great piece to have. tons of people have them. you can find screaming deals on those jackets if you keep your eyes open.
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:11pm 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?
pat

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:15pm PT
I think maybe you are the only one on this thread who hasn't atch.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2013 - 04:17pm PT
i don't understand why people are bagging on the climbers for having nano puffs. they're a great piece to have. tons of people have them. you can find screaming deals on those jackets if you keep your eyes open.

it isn't that they aren't awesome, in fact they are TOO awesome, so much so they attract zombies.
drewsky

climber
Seattle
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:42pm PT
Well, I reasoned earlier that we don't have enough info to call their story entirely true or entirely false. I still think that the true story will fall somewhere in the middle and that the Americanos' account isn't entirely factual but neither is it an elaborate hoax. If more proof surfaces that weights the argument in favor of one or the other, all the better.

More interesting to me was the condemnation of the fundraising efforts. There were a large number of posts from an assumed moral high ground, wherein the authors of said posts proclaimed that they would never stoop so low as attempting to recoup material items via the internet. Kind of a 'real men never ask for handouts' attitude. That's well and good and it's definitely a conundrum that people apparently focus so much on monetary loss (although again we don't know if this is the primary concern of the characters in this saga; we can only speculate) as opposed to being, in this case, lucky to escape with the worst damage being a few missing teeth.

We still need a few pieces of the puzzle for these opinions (including my own, obviously) to mount to anything but speculation.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:45pm PT
Alright, so after 731 posts we have graniteclimber speculating their story is true and Riley speculating it may be false.

No I did not say that. I don't know what happened. All I'm saying is that if you take their story at face value, it's not as unbelievable as some have suggested.
t*r

Mountain climber
where the wild things are
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
i think it would suck to have injuries that horrible, and then have a bunch of people claim you're faking it. can you imagine how that would feel? ugh.

i don't know or care how much white privilege factored into this. violence is not the answer. people can do better.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:19pm PT
i think it would suck to have injuries that horrible, and then have a bunch of people claim you're faking it. can you imagine how that would feel? ugh.

i don't know or care how much white privilege factored into this. violence is not the answer. people can do better.


True that. I've seen a lot of self-serving rationales for acting like a callous prick though.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:54pm PT
i don't understand why people are bagging on the climbers for having nano puffs. they're a great piece to have. tons of people have them. you can find screaming deals on those jackets if you keep your eyes open.
I only recently have been able to afford a "Nano Puff" so I can't say, however, I work my frikkan ass off, own my own business, am pretty old now, live in a nice home that I own, and my kids are though college with no debt: so I finally frikkan deserve one. Clearly these kids feel they are there now. Congrats. Plus the puffs don't need to be replaced like the $4,000 laptop with a $5,000 laptop and the Puffs beat Goodwill wool castoffs.


"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... "
I never considered it. Damn dude, I feel horrible now. (Knott)

You only have an iphone 4 AND the screen is cracked? Damn, that's harsh. You may need both a Crowdtilter™ fundraiser and an Enematilter™ combo platter to get you out of this horrible first world funk:-) .

Seriously, thanks for the reminder and the reality check:-)






Sorry man.

Oh, there were 2 funding sources to help these folks. Facebook is still open for funding replacement ipads, iphones, itrucks, nano puffs: have at it.


abrams

Sport climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
Anyone know the number of the iphone that was stolen? Its time for some prank calls to the Puna.

International Calling Cards to Peru & International Phone Cards to Peru

http://www.callingcards.com/shopping/rate_table1.asp?Origin=USA&Destination=Peru
vininja

Social climber
NJ
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:22pm PT
These travelers (Joseph Palmer Wolfrom, Meghan Moore Doherty, Jennifer Lynne Wolfrom) obviously did not do their homework on traveling outside the USA or to South America. At some point in their lives they will have to accept some responsibility for the mob beating that they got.

I am surprised that they made it so far without other hurdles/incidents.

They openly flaunt poor "camping" decisions in foreign country's.

Self proclaimed PIRATES!! Did they really need to steal wireless internet in a poor country?!?!

Credit: vininja



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