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By Kurt Johnson
From Estes Park, CO
Jan 6, 2013
A ladybug on a rock in front of Conundrum Peak, El...
Brad's last post is by far the most reasoned I've read so far. I've traveled in Peru and many other developing countries, primarily in Latin America, and I've found rural areas to be the safest (although I haven't been in countries where major conflict is going on). Obviously there's a backstory to the attack that hopefully we'll discover as more information comes out. And while one can speculate that handing over their documents might have prevented the confrontation, if it were me, I probably would have done the same thing they did, suspecting that I was about to be robbed or even worse. However, as has already been said, hindsight is 20:20, and it probably was a case of mistaken identity and a neighborhood watch which, combined with miscommunication, spiraled out of control.

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By wankel7
From Indiana
Jan 7, 2013
I wonder if the bear spray made it worse?

What a tough call you are being attacked do you go offensive or defensive?

Good idea on the copies of documents. I heard an idea of even going to the trouble to make very good copies and laminating them while deeply hiding the real ones.

Is there any sort of insurance that would cover the vehicle and gear? Emergency evacuation iinsurance?

I would guess the villagers didn't realize their actions would be international news.

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By Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Jan 7, 2013
Pure speculation, but it seems unlikely that any villager seriously thought the wealthy Americans in the camper were there to steal their livestock. I'll bet there is more to this story.

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By SlowTrad
From St Paul, MN
Jan 7, 2013
Back in the 80's I had the privelege of serving the US 7th SFG in Central/South America and the Carribean. Ther is no fricken way I would have ever been without a means of defending myself, that means at the very least a .45 ACP and 3 xtra mags. More often it would be accompanied by an M16 or M203.

There is a very terrible wealth disparity in most of the world that erupts into violence when the "man" shows up with a new car and shiny iPhones and no way to defend it. Take a look at the local rich guy in any third world country, and you will also see 2 or 3 other guys with guns protecting him, and his house will have a wall with barbed wire and security. They don't do that for fun, it is a necessity.

I think it was very naive and foolish to travel to such places without proper security and knowledge of your environment. But I feel bad for their ordeal.

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By Unassigned User
Jan 7, 2013
here is a PM I got from Jon c. Sullivan

"its a third world country its to be expected..."
Im sick of cocks like you making smart ass remarks on MP were some posts are in need of serious responses and discussions. Go join the "how to tie a figure 8" discussion. Third world country does not mean more danger than anywhere else. How many shootings have we had with mass casualties in the US this year? This is not to single you out, but you and all of the other tools who think they can hide their shitty humor or personalities online with these cheeky responses.

lol Umad?

YOU TAKE THE INTERNET TOO SERIOUS BRAH

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By mark felber
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Jan 7, 2013
Eric G. wrote:
Pure speculation, but it seems unlikely that any villager seriously thought the wealthy Americans in the camper were there to steal their livestock. I'll bet there is more to this story.


Why wouldn't they think that? Three Americans roll up a camper, set up camp without asking anybody's permission, refuse to identify themselves or explain their presence and try to run when the questioning gets too intense. If I were a farmer worried about livestock rustlers, that's about the time I would start to think that those 3 were up to no good, and I would fall back on whatever plans I had made with my neighbors to deal with rustlers.

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By Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Jan 7, 2013
mark felber wrote:
Why wouldn't they think that? Three Americans roll up a camper, set up camp without asking anybody's permission, refuse to identify themselves or explain their presence and try to run when the questioning gets too intense. If I were a farmer worried about livestock rustlers, that's about the time I would start to think that those 3 were up to no good, and I would fall back on whatever plans I had made with my neighbors to deal with rustlers.


This is how the encounter began, according the the Americans:

"We were almost immediately approached by two village residents, who were friendly and who we asked if it was ok to park and camp where we had. They said yes. Soon, the two men were blowing whistles and using their cell phones to alert their friends of our presence and many more village residents started gathering around us, including the man who they called the Presidente."

This does not suggest the villagers suspected they had rustlers on their hands. If the Americans are to be credited, they had permission to camp.

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By kirkadirka
From Boulder
Jan 7, 2013
turkey rocks
Very sad to read this story. I can say all of my travels to S. America have been great experiences, and I've been to some less populated areas as a climber.

Regardless of whether they were naive or not, nobody deserves to be treated that way if their story is accurate.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

FLAG
 
By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Jan 7, 2013
Eric G. wrote:
If the Americans are to be credited, they had permission to camp.


Someone on Supertopo posted a suggestion as to how that permission to camp may have been misunderstood by the travelers.

The paragraph read:
The three gringos drive up to camp for the night at what looks like a deserted spot. Tired they sit down and break out some beer. Half mile a way, up the hill, some villagers, also having a beer after a long day see an odd flashy truck pull on to their land. Having had some recent problems with thieves (maybe horse?) two of them elect to go down and see what is going on. Despite their simmering anger over recent events they try to stay friendly and greet the gringos not knowing who they are or where they came from. They only notice they are foreign which just makes them more suspicious. The gringos start saying something like this, "campo aqui?" to which the villagers quizically reply "Si, este es un campo, claro." All seems good to the gringos, but of course it is not at all.


I don't think anyone has posted as to the level of language skills the traveler had, but when I did the translations for those phrases above, I can see how someone with less than good level could have had something like that happen.


Link: supertopo.com/climbing/thread....

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By mark felber
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Jan 7, 2013
Eric G. wrote:
This is how the encounter began, according the the Americans: "We were almost immediately approached by two village residents, who were friendly and who we asked if it was ok to park and camp where we had. They said yes. Soon, the two men were blowing whistles and using their cell phones to alert their friends of our presence and many more village residents started gathering around us, including the man who they called the Presidente." This does not suggest the villagers suspected they had rustlers on their hands. If the Americans are to be credited, they had permission to camp.


If the Americans are to be credited, they set up camp first and asked permission later, after waiting for the locals to come to them. Not what I would do in a strange country, especially one with a corrupt police force and a lot of crime.

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By Fluoride
From Los Angeles, CA
Jan 8, 2013
Galen's Crack.  Tuolumne.  Hell yes!
Most of their story doesn't add up to me.

I've travelled in remote places in Peru without incident but with good common sense. ALWAYS have a local in your favor.

Rolling up onto someone else's land in a narco state area and escalating the situation by refusing to provide documents, being hostile to locals, driving away and trying to plow through barricades, pepper spraying the locals. They did nothing right.

Then the account for them to get back their belongings and spending the first $5K on a laptop. Makes you wonder.

If what allegedly happened to them, if it were me I'd be working on getting on the first plane back to the states to get my wounds looked over and treated (with "100 stitches" how are they going to get those removed in the place they're at confidently), an appointment with a dentist to fix broken teeth, an appointment with a psych to deal with mental trauma.

No money should go to replacing computers, iphones, truck windows, etc. They should be spending their newly found donations on getting themselves healthy and fixed. But where are they now? Even a few days ago they were claiming they wanted to continue their journey.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Jan 8, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
They should have worn sombreros and fake mustaches to fit in.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jan 8, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Fluoride wrote:
Most of their story doesn't add up to me. I've travelled in remote places in Peru without incident but with good common sense. ALWAYS have a local in your favor. Rolling up onto someone else's land in a narco state area and escalating the situation by refusing to provide documents, being hostile to locals, driving away and trying to plow through barricades, pepper spraying the locals. They did nothing right. Then the account for them to get back their belongings and spending the first $5K on a laptop. Makes you wonder. If what allegedly happened to them, if it were me I'd be working on getting on the first plane back to the states to get my wounds looked over and treated (with "100 stitches" how are they going to get those removed in the place they're at confidently), an appointment with a dentist to fix broken teeth, an appointment with a psych to deal with mental trauma. No money should go to replacing computers, iphones, truck windows, etc. They should be spending their newly found donations on getting themselves healthy and fixed. But where are they now? Even a few days ago they were claiming they wanted to continue their journey.


I am reluctant to come to their defense, but it reads to me like they're not asking for donations to replace their goods. They were asking for money because they had no access to their own because their cards and indigenous cash were stolen, and because they have no way to purchase transportation home, or cover the incurrence of their medical bills there locally. I could be wrong though, I did not read the fine print. Surely though, they know better than to ask for money to replace the toys. Perhaps not.

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By Miike
From MA/CT border
Jan 8, 2013
my foot
thefish wrote:
here is a PM I got from Jon c. Sullivan "its a third world country its to be expected..." Im sick of cocks like you making smart ass remarks on MP were some posts are in need of serious responses and discussions. Go join the "how to tie a figure 8" discussion. Third world country does not mean more danger than anywhere else. How many shootings have we had with mass casualties in the US this year? This is not to single you out, but you and all of the other tools who think they can hide their shitty humor or personalities online with these cheeky responses. lol Umad? YOU TAKE THE INTERNET TOO SERIOUS BRAH


lol he PMed you, nobody PMs thefish


M Sprague wrote:
They should have worn sombreros and fake mustaches to fit in.

thats a great idea, maybe crank up some salsa music while driving through town with surfboards on top of the truck



Jake Jones wrote:
I am reluctant to come to their defense, but it reads to me like they're not asking for donations to replace their goods. They were asking for money because they had no access to their own because their cards and indigenous cash were stolen, and because they have no way to purchase transportation home, or cover the incurrence of their medical bills there locally. I could be wrong though, I did not read the fine print. Surely though, they know better than to ask for money to replace the toys. Perhaps not.


OK, you have a point BUT dont you imagine these folks have family in the USA with some cash? Lets be honest here, people who climb and surf dont usually come from coal mining communities in Appalachia or trailer parks in Alabama. People that climb and surf that have all of this gear, truck included, AND the time to go on adventures like this are not from the poor side of the tracks.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jan 8, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
TRmasta wrote:
OK, you have a point BUT dont you imagine these folks have family in the USA with some cash? Lets be honest here, people who climb and surf dont usually come from coal mining communities in Appalachia or trailer parks in Alabama. People that climb and surf that have all of this gear, truck included, AND the time to go on adventures like this are not from the poor side of the tracks.


Good point. I honestly hadn't considered that. They don't appear to be sponsored in any conventional way, and appear to have financed this on their own. Who knows though, maybe it is just them. Maybe they don't have people that can float them enough to get back. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. Seems unlikely though. I agree with you there.

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By David Barbour
From Denver
Jan 8, 2013
Jake Jones wrote:
I am reluctant to come to their defense, but it reads to me like they're not asking for donations to replace their goods. They were asking for money because they had no access to their own because their cards and indigenous cash were stolen, and because they have no way to purchase transportation home, or cover the incurrence of their medical bills there locally. I could be wrong though, I did not read the fine print. Surely though, they know better than to ask for money to replace the toys. Perhaps not.


Then why type out an list of items that were stolen and what they're worth? (iPhone 5!)

edit: They removed the list. What a scam.

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By wankel7
From Indiana
Jan 8, 2013
David Barbour wrote:
Then why type out an list of items that were stolen and what they're worth? (iPhone 5!) edit: They removed the list. What a scam.



If you read their write up of what happened there is a explanation of why that was included. You actually have to read the whole thing. Or scroll to the bottom.

There explanation makes sense.

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By David Barbour
From Denver
Jan 8, 2013
article wrote:
The bottom half of this letter has now been removed. I posted this letter that Jenny wrote in order to quickly release our story as it was the only written account I had immediate access to and didnít have the time to write it out myself. The point of posting this letter was to get our story out so that the legal system in Peru would have to do somthing, as before we released it they were all twittling their thumbs hoping we would just go away. The point was not to ilicit for money just becuase we listed the items which were stolen from us!


Sounds like a bunch of bs actually, but that's just my opinion.

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By Mark Lewis
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Jan 8, 2013
David Barbour wrote:
Then why type out an list of items that were stolen and what they're worth? (iPhone 5!) edit: They removed the list. What a scam.


I don't really care to speak to their donations page, but in criminal cases its common practice to itemize a list of stolen/damaged items for the police investigation and potential re-compensation. They likely made the list initially for the consulate and local police. Why is everyone incredulous that they made this list? Seems it really isn't the list you all are upset about, but rather that they opened a donation page to help them cover costs. If any of you were a victim of this type of crime you would have been asked to make a list of damaged and stolen items as well.

Whether you create a donation page on the web is a different story.

FLAG
By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jan 8, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Mark Lewis wrote:
Why is everyone incredulous that they made this list?


I think because as you're alluding to, without reading the entire article, a cursory scanning of the events leads one to believe that they are asking for money to replace their stolen goods. Many people simply didn't bother to read the entire thing.

Also, you're correct that this is an account that was relayed to either an embassy or consulate, and it was just reposted. Again, reading the entire thing and comprehending it could have and should have alleviated the subsequent indignation that resulted from "posting the list".

That's my guess anyway.

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By wankel7
From Indiana
Jan 8, 2013
I am sure the court of public opinion wasn't what they were thinking about when they posted the items they lost at the bottom of their story.

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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Jan 8, 2013
Axes glistening in the sun
SlowTrad wrote:
Back in the 80's I had the privelege of serving the US 7th SFG in Central/South America and the Carribean. Ther is no fricken way I would have ever been without a means of defending myself, that means at the very least a .45 ACP and 3 xtra mags. More often it would be accompanied by an M16 or M203. There is a very terrible wealth disparity in most of the world that erupts into violence when the "man" shows up with a new car and shiny iPhones and no way to defend it. Take a look at the local rich guy in any third world country, and you will also see 2 or 3 other guys with guns protecting him, and his house will have a wall with barbed wire and security. They don't do that for fun, it is a necessity. I think it was very naive and foolish to travel to such places without proper security and knowledge of your environment. But I feel bad for their ordeal.


Ditto, I was down there in the mid to late 90's. But not everyone could handle a .45 like you or I.

When traveling in other countries, or even here in the US, I "act like the natives." Well as much as I can. But when I go home or to the projects back in NYC where I worked years ago, I don't go wearing my cool climbing shit. I try to blend in. It's best to learn the culture and customs of the area, even if you may not agree with them. Like 90 year old Saudi's marrying 15 year old girls and paying a $17k dowry.

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By Brad Boyle
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 8, 2013
Looks like we are heading for Trollville again. The one thing I had respected about the MP discussion of this event is that it was a bit more reasoned than the feeding frenzies on other forums.

David Barbour, TRmasta, Jake Jones, please read some of the discussions from earlier pages, and earlier posts from the travelers' blog itself. I think a plausible case has been made for a misunderstanding due to cultural differences, language barriers, and some bad decisions made in fear and haste (on both sides).

As to the posting of the list of valuables, which was later removed from the blog post by Meg, please see my post on page 3, the one beginning "A few things to think about" regarding why the list was prepared in the first place, why it was removed, and how the online funding site got started.

I don't find their explanation implausible; I have been in a similar situation myself. Authorities won't believe you and will do nothing until they have in their hands a written account which must include a list of valuables lost and their value. That can be frustrating when your are in shock from having been injured and robbed. Several of the peruvian newspaper articles I read early on made a point of mentioning that no formal denuncio had yet been lodged. If and when that happens, the letter that Jenny wrote and Meg (perhaps unwisely) reposted to her blog would form the basis of that denuncio. My guess, though, is that the Meg, Jed and Jenny will more likely fly home rather than hang out in Peru waiting to argue their case in court. It would be a waste of time even if they did speak Spanish. It's not like they're going to get anything back from the villagers.

David Barbour, I'm not sure I follow why removing the list of valuable from Meg's post amounts to a scam. Most of the scorn and insults that have been directed at her, Jed and Jenny focus on that list. I'm not sure the feeding frenzy would have been quite so intense had Meg given some thought to editing out the list of valuables in the first place. But likely she had other things on her mind at the time.

From time to time I've been following online a number of overland travelers who are on a similar trip across the Americas, many of whom met Jed and Meg. They are all saddened that what sounded like a great trip has come to such an unfortunate end.

FLAG
By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jan 8, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Brad Boyle wrote:
David Barbour, TRmasta, Jake Jones, please read some of the discussions from earlier pages, and earlier posts from the travelers' blog itself. I think a plausible case has been made for a misunderstanding due to cultural differences, language barriers, and some bad decisions made in fear and haste (on both sides).


I have read all of it multiple times. I, like others that have commented here, have traveled abroad, so I'm not talking out of my ass. Nowhere have I stated or implied that a plausible case has NOT been made for what occurred to the travelers. I would venture to agree generally with what you have said with regard as to why the incident took place.

The only point that I agreed with, not initiated, is that at face value, they seem to come from well-to-do backgrounds because of the top-tier of their goods and equipment, and so it seems odd that someone stateside could not assist in covering the costs they incurred locally as well as the cost of their return home.

Other than that, I came to their defense somewhat, although reluctantly. I'm not entirely sure why you're lumping me in with those whose opinions (which they are welcome to) of the details concerning this event differ so much from my own. I would only suggest that you follow your own advice and reread what I have written and take it in the proper context.

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By Brad Boyle
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 8, 2013
Update. Looks like their truck has finally been towed to Cuzco and an investigation has been started by the police:

radiouniversalcusco.com.pe/not...

The articles also implies that Meg, Jed and Jenny have now all left the country.

FLAG


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