Two British Bird-Watchers Missing, Feared Killed by Guerrillas
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ The British Embassy in Lima confirmed Monday that two ornithologists missing in a drug-rich jungle area since June are feared dead.
An Embassy spokesman made the statement in response to a Lima newspaper report Sunday claiming Shining Path guerrillas killed British bird-watchers Michael Alan Entwistle, 30, and Timothy Peter Andrews, 32, in the Upper Huallaga River Valley area on June 11.
The spokesman was unable to confirm the newspaper report, but said the Embassy was in touch with police in the jungle city of Tingo Maria, 200 miles northeast of Lima, where the Britons were last seen.
The spokesman said an Embassy press release issued in Tingo Maria two weeks ago brought forward two informants who remembered having seen the two Britons. One of the informants claimed to have seen one of the Britons taken away against his will by a large group of men, the spokesman said.
Lima’s daily La Republica, quoting Tingo Maria residents, said Sunday the guerrillas suspected the Britons of being U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
The two men traveled to the area June 1 to visit the Cueva de las Lechuzas cave, known for its variety of birdlife, about 18 miles west of Tingo Maria, according to La Republica.
The Upper Huallaga Valley is a jungle area dominated by drug traffickers in league with Maoist guerrillas who provide protection in exchange for arms and money.
Ten foreign tourists were killed by the Shining Path last year.