SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico – A bike tour was carried out Friday night and candles were lit in San Cristobal de las Casas’s main square to pay tribute to two European cyclists who were murdered in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.
The bike tour around San Cristobal was headed by family members of Germany’s Holger Franz Hagenbush, who was murdered along with Polish national Crzysztof Chmielewski, and ended at the main square, where flowers were laid and candles lit to honor the two victims.
Hagenbush and Chmielewski were found dead in a ravine along the highway connecting San Cristobal and Ocosingo.
The German cyclist was shot in the head while Chmielewski died from a head wound.
Rainer Hagenbuch, Holger Franz’s brother, was grateful for the condolences he had received from around the world, as well as for the support he had found in Mexico while searching for his sibling.
“What is happening here in this beautiful country is not truly what Mexico is about. These two young men were murdered riding a bike, that is the simple fact,” he said.
The two European cyclists disappeared on April 21 while riding in Chiapas as they were heading toward the Yucatan peninsula.
A prosecutor had first claimed that the two men had died in an accident, although Luis Alberto Sanchez, the chief homicide prosecutor in Chiapas state, confirmed Friday that the cyclists had been murdered, most likely during an armed robbery.
State authorities said DNA samples had been taken to confirm the identity of the two men, as their bodies were badly decomposed.
“We are waiting for the results of the DNA samples that are being analyzed, which we hope to get in four to six weeks,” Sanchez said.