Foul play now suspected in case of Canadian who went missing in Peru

Jesse Galganov, right, and his mother, Alisa Clamen. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FAMILY

With the effort to find missing Montrealer Jesse Galganov about to enter its third month, the Israeli search-and-rescue team his mother, Alisa Clamen, hired in November, suspects foul play.

Galganov, a dual Canadian and American citizen, left Montreal on Sept. 24 for a meticulously planned eight-month backpacking trip through South America and Southeast Asia.

The last time Clamen heard from her son was just four days later, when he texted to say he was planning to hike the Cordillera Blanca mountains and would be unreachable for about four days. When days went by without any contact, she launched the ongoing campaign to find her missing son.

After spending weeks on the ground in Peru working with the police and the Canadian and American embassies to locate her son, Clamen turned to Magnus International, an Israeli company headed by Yechiel (Hilik) Magnus, an Israel Defence Forces veteran who founded the search-and-rescue organization made up of climbing specialists, as well as intelligence-gathering and rescue experts.


After about a month of searching on the ground, and with the help of drones to comb through dense areas that could not be reached on foot, Clamen told the Montreal Gazette that Magnus believes Galganov’s disappearance involves foul play.

“They are fairly certain that they didn’t find him because someone does not want us to find him,” Clamen told the Gazette. “The fact that nothing has been found, not a single item, is indicative to them of something criminal. They said, ‘We did not find Jesse because someone does not want us to find Jesse.’”

To date, there have been no ransom demands.

Clamen, who has resorted to liquidating her assets to fund the search, which has so far cost more than $1 million, is still accepting donations from members of the community through a GoFundMe campaign and the Missing Children’s Network.