Photo: Travel Dangers for Vilcabamba, Ecuador
While on vacation in Ecuador, Laura Milcawich leapt off the side of a 50ft mountain ledge instead of staying as a machete gang’s hostage.
Milcawich and her husband, Stephan Aube, both from Toronto, were vacationing in Ecuador and visiting a remote village, Vilcabamba, outside the city of Loja in southern Ecuador.
While taking a walk in the woods, the couple was approached by a group of men armed with guns and machetes demanding money. The group then ordered Aube to withdraw an additional $3,000 yet after he left, his wife, not wanting to remain a hostage, leapt off the side of the mountain and escaped. The thieves also escaped and it is not known if there have been any arrests yet in Ecuador.
Milcawich is recovering from her injuries in a local hospital. Both families of the couple are outraged and feel that many of the details are possibly being hidden so as to not detract tourists from visiting the country. Shortly after the incident, Aube posted a Facebook message stating, “Hello everyone, My wife has suffered an accident, she’s in a hospital in Ecuador for a couple months. The government is taking great care of us. We will be in touch soon. Thanks for all your support.”
Milcawich’s parents are being flown to Ecuador to be at the side of their daughter.
The Foreign Affairs department of Canada has issued a warning advising Canadians to avoid “non-essential travel to Vilcabamba,” based on this and other similar attacks and robberies in the Mandango mountain region.