The pier of an island designed for tourism 365 days a year is like a centrifuge of energy and emotions released by both those who disembark and those who return to the boat with a suitcase loaded with souvenirs. There are others who directly decide not to leave. Long queues form daily at the local police station office to renew visas. Some threaten to become digital nomads. And there are those who, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the immovable revelry in a tropical setting full of coconut palms and with 30ºC all year round, do business in an underworld where they can find everything from all kinds of psychotropic drugs, to sexual aphrodisiacs or monkeys sold as pets. Then, as in any wild paradise, where the foreigner sometimes believes himself immune, atrocious events occur.
The starting point of this story is the dock of Koh Phangan, one of the three inhabited islands in the Gulf of Thailand. On August 2, the Colombian surgeon descended on the always-crowded footbridge that descends to a street full of shops where they rent motorcycles, cheap local food restaurants, and some establishments that sell pre-rolled marijuana joints. Edwin Arrieta Arteaga (44 years). On land the Spanish chef was waiting for him daniel sancho (29 years old), son of the popular actor Rodolfo Sancho, who has already flown to the island.
The first would end his tour of the island cut into pieces that appeared on various beaches and in the municipal landfill. The second would leave the island yesterday, handcuffed and accused of premeditated murder, concealment and theft of parts of the body of his companion. But before going to court and entering pretrial detention, the confessed perpetrator of the most barbaric crime that the residents of Koh Phangan remember accompanied the Police to reconstruct the event in each of the eight key locations.
The pier where Arrieta arrived was the first. That’s where our trip begins, also on a rented scooter like the one Sancho was driving, touring the rather messy map drawn by the agents. The next two points are two stores, one for construction materials and the other for convenience, located at two different ends of the island, where Sancho bought on August 1, the day before his companion arrived, the knife and the saw that used to skin the victim, in addition to cleaning products to leave no trace and garbage bags to hide the remains of the corpse.
“I can’t say anything, I don’t know what to say. Lots of people buy knives and don’t use them to amputate parts of someone else’s body. What has happened is terrible, ”says the woman who attends behind the cashier of one of the stores where Sancho bought. On the island, the local people are still shocked by what happened. For their part, foreigners, who come and go, are in their pomp on the beach and most have not heard of the crime.