Without a budget, the Peruvian Army and Police Force start a massive four-day search for Jesse Galganov next week

T here are anxious days ahead for Todd Galganov who is getting everything done to prepare for what appears to be the final search for his missing son Jesse. Galganov´s visit to Lima over a month ago, where he was able to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seems to pay off. Meetings with representatives of the Canadian and American embassies have now resulted in a concrete search with over 100 people, including armed forces, policemen and local guides. Galganov has been attending and assisting with team meetings of the Criminal Police Department of Peru (DIVINCRI) in Huaraz for the past four days in order to keep completely up to date regarding the latest information to the case.

However, it was not until last Monday that he was informed by officer Yury Toscano Villafana that besides the two French tourists who claimed to have seen Jesse on October 1st last year at the second campsite of Taullipampa on the Santa Cruz Trek, there was actually a whole group of Czech trekkers that might have seen him as well. According to the text of a WhatsApp conversation with 58-year-old Dana Simonova from the Czech Republic, the DIVINCRI was able to confirm that a group of around 10 Czech hikers were on the trail at the same time as Jesse and walked in the opposite direction from Vaquería,  before catching up with the Canadian near Punta Union. Simonova said to the police that while she was leading the group, she stayed behind to keep watch. While here, fellow countrymen were making their way downwards from Punta Union towards the campsite of Taullipampa, she met with a person who was trekking on his own. This person was described as walking very slowly and having a beard. Although Simonova said she cannot be 100% sure whether the person that greeted her was Jesse, there are strong indications that she was the last person to see him that day around one hour from Punta Union at 03:30 in the afternoon. Additionally, Todd Galganov was informed that another French tourist called Victor Jean Thivillier met with Jesse too. They actually spoke to each other before reaching the Taullipampa campsite and said they would meet again later next day. On October the first, probably due to Jesse´s slow pace, Thivillier decided not to accompany Jesse during the uphill walk towards Punta Union.

Galganov declared to The Huaraz Telegraph to be angered and shocked that he was not informed about this earlier. ¨I am the father, why do people hide information from me?¨ On that same morning, Galganov was also briefed about a three day search during the police set-up, a search that has now extended by one extra day. Later that afternoon, Galganov would also meet with the Mayor of Huaraz, Alberto Espinoza Cerrón, who despite earlier promises made during an exclusive breakfast at a fancy hotel with Todd, said he would not be able to pay for the t-shirts that Galganov had made in Lima. The mayor, however, did promise to join the awareness march in Caraz on Mother´s Day and later in Huaraz. A special police escort will guide the cars towards the main square in Huaraz next Sunday. The mayor also said he would assist the next day´s meeting with the police to see if there was any way he could help with the search. Another promise that resulted in nothing unfortunately.

On Tuesday a second meeting took place at the main police station in Huaraz to confirm the details of the search. The search was set for Tuesday the 15th and will be undertaken with the assistance of special members of the Department of High Mountain Rescue Police from Cusco, Arequipa, Huaraz and Lambayeque. There will also be a special team with search dogs and the Casa de Guías have offered their services as well. Hopefully, local community members will join the search although money and food appear to have caused some problems.

A meeting with the regional prefect of Ancash, Alex Cordero Cuisano, and the fortunate meeting of a representative of an Ancash congresswoman on the streets in Huaraz appeared to have caused even more political pressure and have resulted in the inclusion of the Peruvian Army as well. The support of Peru´s armed forces also ended the ´financial´ dilemma of ´who should pay for the tents and transport´. ¨It´s disgraceful that people here see me as a walking ATM machine. I just want to find my son and I will pay if I have to, in the end. However, yesterday I was almost at the point to call the whole thing (the search) off. In the end, I will still be the guy paying for the gas and maybe food too, but if that´s what I have to do for my son, I’ll do it. No problem¨.

The search will be focused on three particular points near Punta Union on the Santa Cruz Trek. The police believe it´s possible that Jesse might have turned around during his hike heading towards either the Sentillo Valley or Taullicocha Lake in order to find a place to set up his tent and find fresh drinking water. The search will start from the opposite direction of Cashapampa to save time and money.

Strangely, the Magnus International search team will initiate an additional search this Saturday in the same areas indicated by the Peruvian National Police . This last-minute search was initially questioned by the Peruvian police during earlier meetings although in the end they concluded that the quicker Jesse were found, the better. The police are said to have no problems with the Israeli search company doing an additional search prior to theirs. However, and off the record, the police questioned the fact that despite having spent around a million dollars on a private search, the Israeli search members haven´t found much either. Unidentified police sources indicated that the credibility of Magnus appears to be at stake because it will be humiliating for them and their financers if the local police manages to locate Jesse before they do.

Todd Galganov declared to the Huaraz Telegraph that he´s glad that his efforts have finally resulted in a massive search, despite still not knowing exactly who´s paying for the muleteers, the extra guides, and the gear. ¨It´s so complicated at times. There is the language barrier and during the past months, many people have promised me a thousand and one things, and it always resulted in nothing. I have not left Peru since October of last year and I left Canada the day after I heard that Jesse went missing. When I look at the massive amount of money already having been spent, I so much hope that we will find what we are looking for. The set-up of the search is causing me headaches and stress and although I am seriously nervous I still feel strong and will join the army and police during the search. I will also look for a place to make a prayer and with God´s will, we will find my son. I don’t need the press attention and the Oscar may be awarded to someone else. I just want to bring my boy home¨.   

One Response to “Without a budget, the Peruvian Army and Police Force start a massive four-day search for Jesse Galganov next week” Subscribe

  1. zebib May 11, 2018 at 09:48 #

    Thank you for constantly updating us with relevant information.

    Queridas instancias formales de Perú:

    Me parece muy extraño que ahora que están por encontrar a Jesse, el país entero se mueve por participar en la búsqueda contribuyendo con las medidas apropriadas. Qué bien y gracias!

    Sin embargo,¿dónde estaban antes? Por qué no actúan de la misma forma para todos los conacionales que desaparecen cada día o para Nathaly Salazar o la canadiense Julie Anne Baker?

    Es cierto que acciones similares requieren fondos pero caballeros, dónde está su corazón? Cómo le pueden prometer plata a un padre destrozado para luego retirarse?

    Y, lo peor, pensar en quién va a encontrar a Jesse primero? Acaso se han olvidado que se trata de un ser humano y que hay una familia, amigos y una comunidad internacional que sólo quieren abrazarlo?

    Qué es esto? Qué vergüenza! Qué triste!

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