help climbers visciously attacked in Peru

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graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 11, 2013 - 07:24pm PT
Bottom line, your trip of a lifetime can be ruined if you are foolish and ignorant. On top of that you have a responsibility as a traveler and should not be so hasty to tell tales like the Wolfrom's since you are part of a much larger community.

Criticism falls into two contradictory categories (both bullshit):

1. Parts of Peru are full of crazy bloodthirsty savages. If you there without an escort, or at least without an escort, you're stupid and deserve everything that happens to you.

2. Peru is perfectly safe, full of well-meaning but ignorant, non-Internet connected peasants. None of them would ever hurt a fly, unless the fly deserved it. If anything like this happens to you, you must have totally provoked it.

Clearly Ian Westmoreland is a category 1 guy.

But I don't understand. He blames them for being "foolish and ignorant" in stopping in that area, but also attacks them for mentioning it on their blog. I guess he wants them to keep it secret so that the next "foolish an ignorant" traveler will make the same mistakes.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jan 11, 2013 - 07:29pm PT

A pishtaco is a mythological boogeyman figure in the Andes region of South America, particularly in Peru. In some parts of the Andes, the pishtaco is called kharisiri, or ñakaq.[1]

According to folklore, it is pagan evil monster-like man, often a stranger and often a white man, who seeks out unsuspecting Indians, to kill them and abuse their bodies in disgusting ways, primarily by stealing their body fat for various nefarious cannibalistic purposes or cutting them up and selling their flesh as fried chicharrones. Pishtaco is derived from the local language Quechua word: "pishtay" which mean to "behead, cut the throat or cut into slices".2]
Preoccupation with body fat has a long tradition in the Andes region. In pre-Hispanic times, fat was so prized that a deity for it existed, Viracocha (Sea of fat). It is also natural for the peasant rural poor to view fleshiness and excess body fat as the very sign of life, good health, strength and beauty. Many illnesses are thought to have their roots in the loss of body fats and skeletal thinness is abhorred.[3] The Indians were horrified when they saw the practice of the Conquistadores of treating their wounds with fats taken from enemy corpses.[4]

Spanish missionaries were feared as Pishtacos by the Andean aboriginals, who believed they were killing people for fat with which to oil churchbells to make them specially sonorous.[5] In modern times similar beliefs held that human fat was needed to grease the machinery of sugar mills[6][7] or that jet aircraft engines could not be started without a squirt of human fat.[8] Pishtaco beliefs have affected international assistance programs, e.g. leading to rejection of the US Food for Peace program by several communities, out of fears that the real purpose was to fatten children, and later exploit them for their fat.[8] Survey geologists and other Europeans working on the Peruvian and Bolivian altiplano have been attacked by natives in the belief that they were Pishtacos.[9] The work of anthropologists has been stymied because measurements of fat folds were rumoured to be part of a plot to select the fattest individuals later to be targeted by Pishtacos.[7] In 2009 the Pishtaco legend was cited as a possible contributory factor in the apparent fabrication of a story by Peruvian police of a gang murdering up to 60 people to harvest their fat.[10]

The pishtaco is prominently referenced in the novel Death in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa. In the book, two members of the Peruvian Civil Guard investigate the disappearance of three men, trying to determine if they were killed by the Shining Path guerilla group or by mythical monsters.[11]


Yeah, I'd agree that it's ignorant, although not necessarily foolish to not know about the ignorant and foolish superstitions of some of the locals.

But I doubt that they though they were being paid a visit by Pishtaco Man, although it may be a convenient theory to tell the cops.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Jan 11, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
The blog has no new entries, but the Facebook Page has one, yesterday.
https://www.facebook.com/MegaJed

Jenny, Jed's sister is finally back in the good ol' USA!!! We are happy she is back safely, but it was hard to say goodbye to her! Our car is back in Cusco and the windows are being replaced. The mayor of Ocongate is supposedly going to pay for it, but we will see if that actually happens or not.
Jed apparently received 6 unneccesary root canals while in Cusco, but because they were also done so poorly he is having to have them all re-done before he can begin the process to get his new teeth. OUCH! Wish him luck in the upcoming days!

OUr bodies ache less and less every day and our spirits grow stronger. We go this afternoon to get our stitches out of our heads.
It has been a crazy 9 days since the incident and we are still looking at about another week of running around, but then we should be able to get the hell OUT OF PERU !
To everyone who has sent us messages of support,... Please know that they have meant a lot to us, and even though we have not yet had the time to sit down a and respond individually we have enjoyed reading them! Your support means a lot to us! Thank you!
abrams

Sport climber
Jan 11, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
Hurray! Moving on to new horizons.

google says the area they got attacked in is where the potato genetically originated. All wild species and domestic cultivars came from that area of the village of stone tossers. think of that next time your stuffing mcdonalds fries down the hatch
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
"... and finally, if you do go there, we recommend not ordering a 'fishtaco'."
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Jan 11, 2013 - 10:12pm PT
I recall the Pishtaco thing causing some problems for Canadian mining operations and mineral exploration companies working in Peru several years ago.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 11, 2013 - 10:31pm PT
Jed apparently received 6 unneccesary root canals while in Cusco, but because they were also done so poorly he is having to have them all re-done before he can begin the process to get his new teeth.

It seems like these guys have poor judgement concerning just about everything. Really if your front teeth were knocked out, would you consent to 6 root canals before getting them replaced? In a Third World Country?
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Jan 11, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
This whole thing just reeks of nonsense... They have 20,000+$$$$ of new money and he's getting dental implants in a third-world country where they were recently attacked? WOT?

I wonder if I send them just $2000usd if they can broker the release of a Nigerian prince's fortune while they are down there.


Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:30am PT
I so don't get the open hostility towards these people. Truly don't get it.

Its out and out hostility, too.

Its WEIRD!

I mean... godsakes man they're not Dean Potter!

DMT
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:06am PT
So they are still in country.
I figured they were - that news article was wrong.
Are they still in custody for the DUI, crash and resisting arrest?

I wonder if the dental care is being provided by the legal system - like the legal doctor they stated they had to seen in the original letter.

All an incredibly weird story that just gets weirder and weirder.
6 root canals that are not needed? WTF? how does that happen?

Dingus - not hostile at all - travel is my life - i support any travelers and they inspire me to no end. I don't care about any of this other crap, and I think their trip is bad ass. I only comment on pieces of the trip because some of it lends credence to their ability to lie.
Honestly - this couple is bad ass in a lot of ways.

But they drove into a village, were drinking, refused to show ID to the local authorities and then jumped in their car and crashed it when they were trying to stop them - then they signed a piece of paper stating they had been drinking and crashed the car and were turned over to the state police - this is what they stated in between the drama and the tale of running through the jungle for an hour.
Then they played victim to the world - perhaps they are somewhat?

But whatever the subtleties of the story are - miscommunication/ whatever/ these are the facts and no matter what pay offs occur, what political pressure occurs/miscommunication/ ignorance/ mob rule/ or what cover up stories or injuries they have, nothing can change these things.

Another thing that makes me laugh - how did they know they properly comminicated and got permission to camp from people who speak with an obscure indian dialect? I mean thst is ridiculous in itself..
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:16am PT
fishtaco man..that just cracked me me up for 5 minutes.
I had been reading it as pistachio man
man - ya gotta love the world.
If i hadn't just been off for two months and was starting a new contract I would fly down there next week and go right to this village. But I would take a guide who could state I am not fishtaco man!! that one sort of got to me on a visceral level..lol

My hair can be very blonde - I have been in a few places where they told me i looked like a local character of myth...this village might of f*#ked me up too!! lol
nah000

Mountain climber
canuckadia
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:56am PT
in response to DMT's:

I so don't get the open hostility towards these people.

my guess is there are two things going on here:

the first part being transference of emotion.

to this point, the three travellers seem to take no responsibility for their own decisions. everything is the fault of the locals. the sister, who if i remember correctly wrote the initial report, says things like: everybody "knows" that you don't hand over documentation, we asked for permission to camp and were given it, the couple had been travelling similarly for months without incident, etc.

everyone has a person/persons/nation/etc in their iife who they are annoyed with and, similar to this, is always a victim. and to top it all off these people managed to turn, what appears to be, a similar attitude into +$25k so far.

and so the second part is likely jealousy. who hasn't wanted or doesn't want to go on a trip like this? the couple had pulled off one hell of an adventure to this point.



i also want to point out that the intention behind the above "critique", is not to pile on the travellers. i have travelled with my own vehicle from alaska to panama and back to canada. one of my worst fears was that i'd make a mistake and something relatively catastrophic would happen to me and/or my partner and i'd be blamed for/ abandoned to my own suffering. this type of travelling is similar to a lot of climbing/mountaineering in that the general public has a pretty mixed opinion regarding its "acceptability". so i have a lot of sympathy for these three. sure, it appears, they made some mistakes: who doesn't? i have infinitely more respect for someone doing something, then for those sitting behind a keyboard pontificating on the "unruly natives" or the "arrogant american travellers". this is not a movie and from what i've read, i suspect that this is a very grey situation with truths in all directions.

and so the second exciting adventure these people are getting to experience is the viral nature of the net. sure it can raise you $25k. it can also get you a lot of butthurt judgment from people who ultimately know little more than diddley, regarding the entirety of the situation.

so the take away for others planning a similar trip in todays world is that you need to have a media/internet strategy along with your insurance and extra truck parts - haha.

because my bet is if these people had this to do over again, they wouldn't allow family/ friends to post something that was intended to document losses/events/etc for official purposes and was written very shortly after the event. i also suspect that they would have written a somewhat different account [at least in tone] if they'd had a little more time for psychological recovery and introspection.
Ian Westmoreland

climber
Jackson
Jan 12, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
Criticism falls into two contradictory categories (both bullshit):

1. Parts of Peru are full of crazy bloodthirsty savages. If you there without an escort, or at least without an escort, you're stupid and deserve everything that happens to you.

2. Peru is perfectly safe, full of well-meaning but ignorant, non-Internet connected peasants. None of them would ever hurt a fly, unless the fly deserved it. If anything like this happens to you, you must have totally provoked it.

Clearly Ian Westmoreland is a category 1 guy.

Actually I am neither. I feel the villagers are simply human beings capable of anything and as such it is foolish to underestimate them. On top of this I feel the Wolfrom's were ignorant by not knowing enough about the local area they were traveling through.

But I don't understand. He blames them for being "foolish and ignorant" in stopping in that area, but also attacks them for mentioning it on their blog. I guess he wants them to keep it secret so that the next "foolish an ignorant" traveler will make the same mistakes.

No, not for stopping but for not cooperating with the locals when asked to do so. It is easy to find out a Presidente is a village leader or mayor and it is also easy to find out by law they do have the right to ask for your documents. As such, yes it was foolish on their part for not knowing this and their reaction to it, ie fleeing, shows ignorance.

I do want them to share their story with the world, hell man I could careless if they get a multi-million dollar movie deal out of it. However, I feel they should report their story as responsible travelers not innocent victims who did nothing wrong and were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. This sends a bad message especially when you add in all the other factors. If the Wolfrom's handled reporting their story differently and more responsibly I am sure they would not be under nearly as much scrutiny.

These things are important to me because the Wolfrom's do reflect upon a community I happen to care about. On top of this they have the responsibility to set an example for those who come after them.

Cheers
John M

climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
it is also easy to find out by law they do have the right to ask for your documents.

Its also easy to get bad advice or misunderstand the advice or just have a bad day.

The sister is the one who wrote the report. She did not have hardly any of that type travel experience. She wrote the report directly after the trauma. She wrote it for the police which is why it includes the property values. They goofed when they cross posted it. OMG.. those sutpid arrogant beotches.

I agree with the advice above. One doesn't just need a travel guide in countries like Peru, one needs a media relations person.
pat

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 12, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Agreed John. Full disclosure, I have a nano puff. Am I going to hell?
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 12, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
Sh#t happens, NOT ONE of us was there, the direction this thread took is just plain stupid!

Make Ass-umptions long enough, yup..........



Kalimon

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Jan 12, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
If you need dental implants you are past the root canal stage as the tooth and associated root have been removed. Something does not compute.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
some unconfirmed gossip

Update from the gringo network here in Peru, what is being said, all unconfirmed: The police in Cusco have not charged any villager, this is a fact. Unofficially, they have no plans to charge any of them with anything. They do not believe there was an organized plan to abduct or beat or rob the American tourists. Most of the injuries resulted from the truck crash. Officially they are giving the “no comment until we finish investigations” line awaiting for things to cool down and go away. However, there is strong suspicion that a few individual villagers who had been pushed and/or pepper sprayed by the Americans may well have retaliated individually. Someone with a friend in the US Embassy reports that their version is that the kids, possibly emboldened by a few drinks, acted like idiots and got themselves into trouble (hence the “no comment” officially). They do no believe the villagers organized to beat and rob the trio. Embassy staff provided some emergency assistance. Most if not all of the injuries were caused by the car crash. The truck (still with some gear inside) is being repaired partly by funds from the Cusco tourist government agency. Someone who talked to a couple of European backpackers in Cuzco who were partying with them, state that, well, they were partying with them after the incident and the male American was boosting about “scoring” so much money and how they will teach those villagers who not to mess with. All unconfirmed, all just from the gossip networks here.
expatperu
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 12, 2013 - 03:18pm PT
the direction this thread took is just plain stupid!

Its a sad sack of sh#t for sure.

FOCK!

DMT
slayton

Trad climber
Here and There
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:56pm PT
Dingus:
I so don't get the open hostility towards these people. Truly don't get it.

Riley:
Dingus - not hostile at all - travel is my life


Riley on Jan 5:
Best of all - it was written from the perspective of an ignorant, selfish bitch, who had been in the country for a few days. .. ..

Nope, not hostile at all.
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