Saturday, March 9, 2013

Péru: Update--Scant Resolution into the Murder of German Cyclist Rudolph Hilmer, 50

As a follow-up to my posting of March 2, into the bizarre murder of German cyclist Rudolph Hilmer, 50, while biking in the Peruvian jungle destined for Brazil last month, was found on the road to Sarameriza, a small port in the department of Loreto. 

Sarameriza is the first navigable point on the Marañón River on the way to the Amazon River and therefore the city of Iquitos and the border with Brazil.

COMMENT: Even after the passage of a month, details as to who killed Hilmer and for what motive has still not been completely understood, although in contrast to earlier information, it has now been confirmed that some of his personal effects (camera, money and other belongings) were in fact stolen, although his bike, documentation and USB files of the photographs of his trip remained where his body was found.

Residents of the community of Alto Pajacusa reported hearing several gunshots on the road he was traveling on, but found only his shirtless body and the previously described property when his body was found.

At this point, police have identified no witnesses to the murder, but have completed their autopsy and processed the repatriation of his body back home.  

In light of the isolation of the area he was traveling in and the early time of the morning, it is entirely possible that no one will ever be brought to justice for this senseless act of violence.

As I have said previously, solo cycling in Latin America can often be a high-risk activity, not only from road accidents, but from armed robbery and assault as well. Solo biking is particularly risky because a person traveling alone must sleep at some point, where they are particularly vulnerble and subject to being victimized.