How on earth could Jesse Galganov just vanish in Huaraz without a trace?

O ne month on and the police apparently have absolutely nothing on Jesse Galganov´s disappearance. The two video cameras which captured the 22-year-old´s arrival in Huaraz have lead not to more answers, but to more questions. The hostel where he ostensibly stayed was cleared by the police and resulted in a dead end. Hopefully, the results of Jesse´s cell phone analysis will indicate where the young backpacker went. On the other hand, the situation is troublingly silent regarding any updates, and the Head of the Police Division of Huaraz, José Zavala, only shared with the press that they believe that the Canadian traveller went towards the town of Caraz in the Callejón de Huaylas. Is this really all they have or is there maybe more that cannot (yet) be shared with the public?

During the past month, since first publishing on the disappearance of Jesse Galganov, many people have contacted our newspaper to speculate on what might have happened to this young backpacker. We have received tens of messages and emails too, of people asking us what we think of all this. Logically, we have to stick to the facts, although I will share my point of view on some topics such as: whether people have disappeared before in Huaraz; if the police may be able to find Jesse; and, although very limited, what our role is in the investigation. Many assumptions and hypotheses are circulating on social media, and there are even people contacting us who believe to have seen the Canadian citizen. Speculation will not help finding him; on the contrary, it will only cause confusion and more false assumptions. At The Huaraz Telegraph we have been following and reporting the news on Jesse since we were informed on October the 16th and we will continue to do so because I believe it´s our duty.

At THT, we carefully analyse what to publish and what not to publish. When people question whether we should or shouldn’t publish on mountain fatalities, I always remind them of the fact that there might be some folks back home, living on another continent who are desperate for some reliable and up-to-date information. It´s honestly heartbreaking to publish news on fatalities each time, over and over again. I can easily recall the names, surnames and nationalities of the mountaineers who died in the Huaraz area, but perhaps the case of the three Estonian climbers struck me most. Sometimes we get written requests to share our point of view on some of these cases, a request we honour without any problems, because I understand that people are looking for more information. When Allan, Tarmo and Jane from Estonia suffered the accident, Huaraz became one of the most searched terms on Google in Estonia that year. Something similar is happening with Jesse; understandably, people are hoping to find that piece of information that could lead to his location, but mostly, people are searching in good faith that they will find the piece that reports on Jesse’s safe return home.

One of the questions from abroad I was asked most frequently during the past few weeks was whether Huaraz is a dangerous city and whether this has happened before. I recall the case of a mountaineer who went skiing and never returned, and they were unable to find his body. In 1999, three climbers got lost in the Huaraz area, two foreigners and one Peruvian and sadly their bodies also remain missing. In 2013 an Englishman got lost; I believe he still hasn’t been found. These examples concern mountaineering accidents, meaning that the police at least knew the area in which to start the search, although for different reasons they weren’t successful.

On the other hand, eighteen-year-old Canadian Sarah Murphy, a mountaineer who was reported missing on October 29th in the Alpamayo mountain range of the Cordillera Blanca, was found alive just recently by the rescue corps of the Mountain Guides Association of Peru (AGMP). And regarding the Estonians mentioned earlier, a fourth member of the expedition was found, though heavily injured, by the rescue team of the AGMP back in 2015. Furthermore, in 2013, Niels Carlson and Jonathan Clark survived an avalanche of falling rocks at the Moraine of Ocshapalca near Mount Vallunaraju, at the Quebrada Llaca and made it back alive. In 2016, Spanish Alberto Cuadros of 30 years and Dutch national Hendrick (Erik) Elsinga (47) were found injured at Nevado Mateo by members of the Department of High Mountain Rescue Police. All these examples have a happy ending, however, comparing them with Galganov´s case, the people involved weren’t reported missing for over a month and as stated before, the police and searchers knew where to start looking.

What about Peruvian nationals who have disappeared in the Huaraz area? There is the case of a 27-year-old who went missing on the 28th of December of 2016, who left his house to never return. Also worrying is the disappearance of a seventeen-year-old teenager who went missing on the 18th of May of this year. In 2016 a mother and her two kids went missing in the city of Huaraz and I believe they still haven’t been found. Santa Lirio Cerna, daughter of historic peasant leader in the 80s, Macedonio Lirio León, left her house in December of 2016 and is still missing. Researching these cases, it makes me sad and very pessimistic about Jesse´s disappearance, which has been confusing and nerve-racking, particularly for Jesse´s parents Todd and Alisa, friends and loved ones. I would like to be hopeful and I tend to trust the police and Peruvian intelligence services, although in terms of efficacy, they can´t be compared to Scotland Yard or the F.B.I.

Another question we received multiple times is whether people are doing everything they can to locate the 22-year-old. I believe so, however, the fact is that the investigation is in hands of Police members of the División de Investigación Criminal (DIVINCRI) and their communication on any (positive) results so far is scarce. After over a month, the disappearance is still talk of the town, as it should be. It´s simply incomprehensible and inexplicable that no one, and I mean absolutely no one, has seen the university graduate from Montreal since the 29th of September. It makes you ask yourself; how on earth could Jesse Galganov just vanish in Huaraz without a trace?

Rex Broekman
Editor THT

9 Responses to “How on earth could Jesse Galganov just vanish in Huaraz without a trace?” Subscribe

  1. Bat-Sheva Faierstein November 6, 2017 at 09:48 #

    I think the speciality search team from Israel should be hired

  2. Vanessa chandler November 6, 2017 at 09:48 #

    More than likely he’s dead

    • Adriane Turow November 9, 2017 at 09:48 #

      Why would you post this opinion publicly on an article that Jesse’s family and friends are likely to read? How very inconsiderate of you!

  3. Pilar muñiz November 6, 2017 at 09:48 #

    Buen reportaje!!! Tengo una pregunta xq hasta ahora no he leído nada sobre eso. Hace un par de semanas se estaba solicitando q T mobile, kindle, google, etc liberaran la información de Jesse, esto permitiría saber sus últimos movimientos, llamadas etc. Qué pasó?? Escuche q esas empresas accedieron a liberar la info, que arrojó esto???

  4. Patrizia Fanzone November 6, 2017 at 09:48 #

    Thank you. It’s not easy to write such an article.

  5. Cecilia November 6, 2017 at 09:48 #

    Es irresponsabilidad tomar como hospedaje una pension de 2$ la noche…viniendo solo y siendo extranjero.
    Tenemos en Perú la oficina de Promperú donde brindan info de hospedajes y tours registrados, pienso que si este Joven por “ahorrarse” y tomar algo formal no estaría en esta situación.

    • Lien November 13, 2017 at 09:48 #

      That’s a very wrong and inconsiderate thing to say. People do not go missing simply because they travel on a budget and don’t want to be a tourist. Greed seems to have no shame.

  6. Lori anne November 8, 2017 at 09:48 #

    Please do not post a comment like this. Family and friends do not need to read comments like these.
    Really insensitive

  7. Dolores November 16, 2017 at 09:48 #

    It’s too bad the search was hindered by confusion at Kame House. Last week I saw a post where a young lady tried to register at Kame House around the same time as Jesse but no one was at the reception desk so she stayed elsewhere. This is probably what happened to Jesse. 🙁

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