A Pole and a German murdered in Mexico

According to the Mexican prosecutor’s office, travellers Krzysztof Chmielewski from Poland and Holger Franz Hagenbusch from Germany were murdered. Their bodies were found in the State of Chiapas, Mexico. Earlier, the Mexican authorities claimed that the men died in an accident. – We think that somebody tried to rob them – said Luis Alberto Sánchez, the prosecutor responsible for the investigation. – The guilty ones will be detained.


A winding, beautiful road

Krzysztof Chmielewski (37) and Holger Franz Hagenbusch (43) were missing since April 21, when they travelled on bicycles through Chiapas, an Indian state in the south of Mexico. Rainer Hagenbusch, a brother of the missing German traveller, was looking for his brother through his friends on social media.

Chmielewski’s body was found by an accident on the highway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Ocosingo in the State of Chiapas on April 26. Hagenbusch’s body was found on May 4 just 200 metres further. This highway is dangerous, winding and picturesque, surrounded by the banana plantations. From time to time one passes Indian villages where the poor Mexicans live. Initially, the Mexican investigators made public that men most likely died in an accident.

– Cycling here is very risky, they could lose control and fall into a canyon – explained the prosecutor Arturo Pablo Liévano. It was also claimed that the Pole suffered head injuries during the fall and his body was later partially eaten by wild animals.

The death of the cyclists caused indignation in social media. People did not believe in the prosecutor’s version of the tragic events. Rainer Hagenbusch, after identifying his brother’s dead body in Mexico, wrote on Facebook: “I can say that the authorities do not tell the truth, it was not an accident, it was a murder and we have the evidence”. He also informed that his brother was shot, and the Pole was beheaded and had one of the feet cut off. It was only after this information that the prosecution’s office claimed the mistake had been made during the investigation.

Someone wanted to make it look like an accident

– The tests carried out definitely indicate that there is a hole in a skull. The skull may belong to the German cyclist. The hole looks like a typical result of a gunshot – said Luis Alberto Sánchez, the prosecutor who was assigned to the case by deputy of Liévano. He added that the head of the Pole was torn off his body and there was a mark on his skull made by a heavy object. It is not known yet if it was made before or after the death of a victim. In his opinion, someone probably wanted to make it look like an accident. The prosecutor’s office hopes that the second dissection will give more information.

– After conducting DNA tests we will be able to fully confirm the identification of the bodies – Sánchez said. – Now it is impossible to identify them due to the conditions in which the bodies stayed. Hagenbusch was recognized by his brother using dental identification.

No suspect has been detained so far, the reasons for the murder are not known for sure.
– Perhaps they tried to resist during the attack and that’s why they were killed – Sánchez wondered. The Pole’s passport, visa and camera were not found. – We will find the guilty ones, they will stand a trial and their case will serve as an example – he declared.

The last trip

Krzysztof Chmielewski gave an interview for a local television in Tuxtla Gutiérrez (in the State of Chiapas) before starting his last trip. He said he had visited 51 countries by bike and in his opinion, it is the best means of transport – no need for gas, insurance or license plates and it is very cheap. He dreamed about visiting all the countries in the world.

Hagenbusch travelled to Canada and the United States as well as the north and south of Mexico during his last trip. He had travelled across Asia, Europe and North America for last four years. The next stop was supposed to be Palenque, where the Maya archaeological zone is located. On January 23, he wrote on his blog: “Mexico seems like a great adventure”.

Although there are numerous crimes involving organized groups in the north of Mexico, people are rarely killed in the south of the country. Tourists are protected by the locals there, as many of them work in tourism. However, according to the Civilian Security in Latin America Facts and Figures report, in 2017 Mexico was the second country in the world in terms of the number of people killed.


Photo: The centre of San Cristobal de ñas Casas in the state of Chiapas. 

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