Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This mum is on a quest to track down her backpacker son who was last heard from on 23rd December when he pledged to return home after he ran out of cash at the end of a 5 year trip.
Reports said that Francisco Ciarlantini left his hometown of Pingue in the eastern Argentine province of Buenos Aires to go travelling five years ago but by last year was reduced to almost living like a beggar.
The young backpacker will turn 25 years old in February and his family said they have not heard from him since 23rd December 2019 when he vowed to come home by the end of the year.
Ciarlantini’s mother Fabiana Benestante said: “I know he was robbed in Tarapoto in Peru for the second time this October.”
She said as a result he “lived like a beggar and the police kicked him off a square where he was sleeping”.
The worried mum had determined to help him, and through a friend she tracked him down on social media and had then flown to Lima on the 7th December where she found him alive but exhausted.
She determined to bring him home but said: “We checked-in but he was stopped at customs. Fran looked at me and told me to board the plane. We argued for a moment and then I boarded the plane.”
She said it was the biggest regret she could have made and added: “I should not have done it.”
Reports said that they last spoke on 23rd December 2019. Benestante added: “He told me he was in Peru and that he would cross into Bolivia the following day. He told me he was okay, he said he loved us and that he would return to Pingue on 31st December to see in the new year with us, but I never heard from him again.”
She has asked for help from the Bolivian and Peruvian authorities, and has also flown back to Lima to continue the search.
She said: “My son is lost and I will find him. He is depressed and he needs help. He is lost, but he knows I will find him. I am his mother.”
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