Australian parents of surfer brothers killed in Mexico make first statement

By Carrington Clarke, ABC correspondent in Ensenada, Mexico

The parents of Jake and Callum Robinson have made an emotional statement about the loss of their sons, saying: “The world has become a darker place for us”.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Callum and Jake have been murdered,” mother Debra Robinson said.

“Our hearts are broken and the world has become a darker place for us.

“We also mourn the loss of [Jack] Carter Rhoad, a close friend. They were young men enjoying their passion of surfing together.”

Debra and Martin Robinson were speaking from the beach in San Diego that was their son Callum’s local surf break and adopted home in the United States.

After making the journey to California from their home in Perth, the couple travelled across the border into Mexico to identify their sons over the weekend.

“Now it’s time to bring them home to family and friends and the ocean waves in Australia,” Debra said.

“Please live bigger, shine brighter and love harder in their memory.”

The couple painted a picture of their two sons – close brothers and much-loved friends to many.

“We have always been very proud of their academic and sporting achievements, and admired their life choices,” Debra said.

“Callum was a loveable, larger-than-life character and considered the United States his second home.

“Known as the big koala, he played professional lacrosse in the PLL [Premier Lacrosse League] and represented Australia in the world championships and always found time to coach junior teams.”

Debra said Jake was “a happy, gentle and compassionate soul who was pursuing a career in medicine”.

“Jake’s passion was surfing and it was no coincidence that many of the hospitals that he worked in were close to surfing beaches,” she said.

Debra said she knew how much her sons were loved.

“We have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of emotions and support that we have received for Callum and Jake,” she said.

“We know that they were truly loved and impacted many people’s lives.”

Martin Robinson thanked friends and family who had been “a massive support” to the couple as they left Australia to find their sons and over recent days.

He also thanked consulate staff, Australian agencies and Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

“I’d like to thank Foreign Minister Wong, who took time out of her busy schedule yesterday to call us with support,” he said.

Both Callum (left) and Jake Robinson are keen surfers.

Charges expected to be upgraded

The bodies of Callum and Jake Robinson were believed to still be in Mexico as the family worked through the logistics of getting their boys home.

The two Australian brothers, along with their American friend, had been travelling the Baja California coastline on a surf trip when the Robinsons raised the alarm that their sons had not been in contact or checked into their accommodation as planned.

On Friday morning local time, the bodies of the three missing men were found near a cliff on the Pacific coast, a local government official in Mexico’s north-west told the ABC.

The attorney-general for Baja California said their primary hypothesis was the men were killed in a robbery gone awry, with the murderers attempting to steal the tyres off a ute before being confronted.

But given the level of cartel activity in the area, authorities said they could not rule out organised crime links. Particularly given the men’s bodies were found in a well with a seemingly unconnected victim.

The three accused remain in custody, with more charges expected to be upgraded on Wednesday.

Mexican national Jesús Gerardo Garcia Cota, who was also known by the alias “El Kekas”, had been charged with forced disappearance before the bodies were formally identified.

He was expected to be charged with the three murders and will appear in court tomorrow.

His brother, Christian Alejandro, and romantic partner 23-year-old Ari Gisell Silva Raya were also arrested in relation to the disappearances but have not been charged.

The attorney-general has previously indicated more than one person will be charged over the murders.

The murders forced a crowd of about 500 people onto the streets of Ensenada, with protesters chanting in Spanish, “we want security”.

Some held surfboards with messages including “Australia, we are with you” and “They only wanted to surf, and they executed them”.

Local surfers also participated in a memorial paddle out nearby at Playa San Miguel.

In San Diego, another paddle-out planned for this Saturday will again honour the three men.


According to the news on Radio New Zealand

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button