2 European cyclists murdered in Chiapas


The German cyclist Holger Franz Hagenbusch

By: Isaín Mandujano


The state’s Attorney General took a turn in the investigation into the death of the German cyclist, Holger Franz Hagenbusch, upon verifying that his cadaver presented a hole in the skull allegedly produced by a firearm, a fact that collapses the initial official thesis of accidental death.

That’s what the prosecutor for the Investigation of Homicide Crimes, Luis Alberto Sánchez Sánchez, said today. He recalled that the body of the Polish cyclist Krzysztof Chmielewski, which is “more complete” than that of the German, was found first.

According to the official, the first cadaver presented severe traumatic brain injury by a cause “yet to be determined,” although he said that the object with which he was hit was “very blunt” and left “the head destroyed.”

On the body of the Polish man they only found the bicycle of the German cyclist, whose whereabouts were unknown until April 26.

The finding of the Polish man’s cadaver occurred when a villager reported the fact and indicated that it was about 50 meters away in a ravine at kilometer 158 between San Cristóbal and Ocosingo, on the stretch known as La Ventana. [1]

As for the body of the German cyclist, the official explained that the skull presented an entrance hole from a bullet in the occipital region, from bottom to top, which entered the left ear and came out above the right ear.

Sánchez Sánchez recognized that, although rushed, it was first believed that the death of both cyclists could be due to a highway accident. However, upon finding the second body they found evidence of a double crime. The official said that those who killed them attempted to make it look like an accident and not a robbery, but that now it is considered as a “double murder.” Additionally, he ruled out that the double crime was an act of organized crime. In fact, he asserted that it was “an isolated act.”

However, he said that the area has been mapped to investigate who the aggressors were. He commented that they could be residents of the same region, so a team of investigators combs the area.

The prosecutor explained that last Tuesday, May 8, personnel from the German Embassy arrived in the area and were given access to the case file and then toured the place where the double crime occurred.

Additionally, they continue looking for evidence to help find those responsible; therefore, crews of investigators are out-stationed in the area to look for evidence and avoid that curiosity seekers alter the crime scene.

Holger Franz’s route

Reiner Hagenbusch, brother of the murdered German cyclist, traveled to Chiapas. The prosecutor said that he has access all the time to the investigations because of being the first and immediate one interested in seeing that the crime does not go unpunished.

Holger Franz’s brother said in an interview that Holger decided to leave a small town in the center of Germany in 2014 to tour part of Asia on a bicycle. The first country that he selected was Iran, where he expected to stay for six months.

However, he returned home because his father died. Afterwards, he sold a house and left on a trip with that money. Besides Iran, he was in Iraq, Azerbaijan, Tibet, China, Indonesia and Vietnam. He traveled from Shanghai to Alaska on a cargo ship. Then he went through Canada and traveled to the United States. In December of last year he reached Mexico’s northern border, where he began his journey towards the south.

Reiner said that his brother’s plan was to reach Patagonia and then take another cargo ship to South Africa, where he hoped to go up through the whole African continent until returning home.

“His path ended in Chiapas, but the people of Chiapas are not to blame. The crazy people that kidnapped my brother and his traveling companion are to blame,” he said.

Reiner added that on April 28 he found out about his brother’s disappearance due to a message from a friend that Holger made in Chiapas. That was why he started making calls to the German Embassy in Mexico and decided to travel to Chiapas territory to look for his brother and carry out his mother’s order: “Find my son and bring him back to Germany.”

According to Reiner, he didn’t have the faintest idea of where Mexico was or what its people were like until his brother’s disappearance. He only knew that this country was the seat of a World Cup in 1970.

Now, he added, he is surprised by the show of affection and expressions of support that he has received from all those interested in seeing his brother’s crime clarified, like the community of cyclists in Chiapas and throughout Mexico.

[1] Near the municipal capital of Oxchuc.


Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com

Friday, May 11, 2018


Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



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