A retired geochemistry professor from the University of British Columbia has been killed in attempted robbery in Valparaiso, Chile, the school confirmed Saturday, June 22, 2019. Dr. Peter Winterburn is seen in an undated handout photo. (Mineral Deposit Research Unit, Martin Dee)

Retired UBC professor Peter Winterburn killed in Chile, school confirms

Global Affairs Canada confirmed that a Canadian citizen was murdered in Chile

A retired geochemistry professor from the University of British Columbia has been killed in attempted robbery in Valparaiso, Chile, the school confirmed Saturday.

In a post on Facebook, the school’s Mineral Deposit Research Unit said Peter Winterburn was killed just before noon on Friday.

ALSO READ: Arrests made in death of B.C. professor Ramazan Gencay in Colombia

Winterburn was a “compelling force” at the MDRU, the post says, implementing a new research program and contributing to student and industry training.

“We are all deeply sadden by his tragic death,” the post states.

Winterburn was walking with his wife and daughter in the city’s Cerro Alegre neighbourhood when two men tried to take his backpack, according to a report in the newspaper La Tercera.

The newspaper reports that Winterburn resisted and was stabbed, and federal police are working to find the attackers.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed that a Canadian citizen was murdered in Chile, although for privacy reasons the department did not identify the citizen.

Spokesperson Stefano Maron said consular officials are helping the victim’s family and are in contact with local authorities.

A statement on the website of the 29th International Applied Geochemistry Symposium, set to be held in Chile next year, said Winterburn had recently moved back to Chile after many years away.

Brian Townley, the president of the symposium’s organizing committee, described what happened to Winterburn as a “shock to all of us, a tragedy that is hard to explain.”

He described “great grievance and disbelief, mixed with frustration and impotence,” at Winterburn’s death.

“Criminal acts such as these (are) impossible to understand within the good norms of life,” Townley wrote in an email.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Oak Bay win first Bridgman Cup since 1973

Annual UVic event is an indicator for coming South Island finals, Island finals and provincials

For Central Saanich couple, fight against MS is a matter of family

Altenkirks sell greeting cards and wooden bowls to raise money for MS Society

Saanich residents planning Halloween fireworks displays must plan ahead

Folks are required to attend one of three safety courses, buy a permit

Victoria feels the pinch at the pump as gas prices jump 18 cents

Gas up to 157.9 cents per litre at some stations

‘Panda’ Goodlife runner searches for his head

Facebook post for help leads to ‘unconfirmed panda head sightings’

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Most Read