Local newspaper spreads painful fake news on Jesse Galganov

W hat was announced as a huge scoop on the front page of the Friday morning edition of local newspaper Prensa Regional, turned out to be a painful, heartbreaking and unforgivable, but above all an awful error in journalism; fake news.

Yesterday morning, The Huaraz Telegraph was informed that the local newspaper mentioned before had revealed the finding of Canadian citizen Jesse Galganov in their latest daily edition. A quick look on their website lead to no answers, as the website didn’t seem to have been updated since the 21st of previous month but the printed edition did indeed mention the finding of the 22-year-old backpacker. According to the author of the article published on page seven, Galganov´s body had been found during the first days of December in the Santa Cruz area. Galganov would have suffered an accident during the hike and would have opted not to use a guide. Additionally it says that his body would secretly been transferred to his homeland.

See also: How could Jesse Galganov just vanish in Huaraz without a trace?

Later that afternoon we spoke to Rafael Figueroa Chávez, president of the Casa de Guías of the Mountain Guides Association of Peru in Huaraz, who confirmed that the information  was indeed painful fake news. He had no idea how and where the newspaper the ´news´ had obtained but assured that it was not true. ¨We have received phone calls and press visits all day because of this and I presume that the author of the article ´has been told something or has heard something´ and decided to publish without double-checking his sources¨.

Carlos Julio Moreno, reporter of Canal 3 of local channel Cable Andino interviewed Coronel José Zavala Chumbiauca of the Huaraz Police Division and asked him if he maybe knew more about the story. Coronel Zavala stated that the police division of Huaraz was informed that same morning about the news but immediately qualified the publication as irresponsible and fake. Zavala too believed that the author had not verified his sources and furthermore stated that it is simply impossible to get a body out of the country without verifying the police. ¨I have received a couple of phone calls of worried family members and friends who obviously had heard about the publication. It´s simply not true¨. Additionally, the head of the Huaraz police force informed that the Israel Search and Rescue Company Magnus International had left Huaraz on Tuesday and finished the search. In the meantime, the police will continue searching, as well as local villagers of the Santa Cruz area.

See also: Jesse´s father praises local police

Multiple Internet users slammed the fake publication qualifying it as yellow journalism. In the Saturday morning edition of Prensa Regional, the newspaper corrected the earlier ´scoop´, blaming a local porter or muleteer for having spread the fake news. On their front page, no apologies were offered to readers, nor to people directly involved to the case.

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