Five tourists and their guide get mugged when held at gun point near Willcahuaín Ruins

F ive foreign tourists and their guide were assaulted and held at gun point on the 17th of July, at seven kilometres from the Huaraz city centre. The crime took place approximately one kilometre from the archeologically monument of Willcahuaín and was executed by four suspects that were aboard a black Yaris car. The group of tourists was hiking towards the lookout point of Taitarruntu and Laguna Ahuac when the four criminals stopped them and took all the belongings including cash money and valuable photo cameras.  The foreigners and local guide communicated to the Tourist Police stationed at the ruins that they were unable to write down the license plate.

Since many years The Huaraz Telegraph is advising its readers in every printed edition of the paper to avoid the Rataquenua Cross (although we were informed at the Tourist Police that there is permanent surveillance at the moment) and not to hike from the ruins of Willcahuaín towards the hot springs in Monterrey. Surprisingly, in the foreword of the July edition of The Huaraz Telegraph, the editor recalls that it´s been ages ago that he had been informed by the Tourist Police about a mugging. Sadly, these things do happen but luckily they´re not frequent.

Of the group of five, two tourists were German, one Austrian and two Swiss. According to Major Godofredo Vargas Delgado of the Tourism Division of the National Police of Peru, it wasn’t the first time that something similar happened as earlier this year four French tourists lost their belonging being subject of a theft in the month of May. Major Vargas furthermore invited tourists to keep visiting Huaraz and the surrounding areas as he believes that the mugging was an incident and that there are actually 30 Tourist Police members installed at different sites such as Chavin de Huantar, Pastoruri, Llanganuco, Rataquenua, Willcahuaín and at different places in town.

In the document we obtained from the Tourist Police it states that the criminals had no mercy with the European tourists nor with the guide as they had to hand over cash money in soles, euros, dollars and Swiss francs, special sunglasses, a Swiss army knife, cell phones, a Lumix camera, a Canon 70D camera with accessories and a Nikon camera, wallets, jackets, medication, towels, credit cards, and other personal belongings. The group´s guide, Victor Colange Saenz had to hand over his guiding license and his national identity document. Frank Firgen Flemm, Karin Helga Rupp, Alois Strimtzer Verberg, Urs Kundig Oberfeld and Monika Uteiner and the guide declared to the Tourist Police that the total sum of the belongings they lost that day was S/ 45,851.21. Despite the good intentions of the Tourist Police, as is ´normally the case´ in Peru, the suspects were not found.

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