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Harassment on the way to Fátima

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
For almost a year now, the Fátima Association (Rodrigo), Santarém Hostel (Mario), and the Via Lusitana have known about incidents involving an elderly (about 80) man on the route to Fátima. He is located about 10 km from Santarém and 2 km before Quinta de Val Flor. He is well known on the camino, has a little place called Cantinho dos Peregrinos where he stamps credentials, and frequently posts pictures of pilgrims stopping there on facebook. My sense is that this is a little stand, not a building or a store.

Last October I got a PM from a forum member who reported a very disturbing incident with this man. Inappropriate touching, forced kissing, but she was able to get away. I put her in contact with Rodrigo and Mario, and a report was filed. Apparently he got a visit from the police (GNR) and was warned that future incidents would result in more serious measures. I think the family was also notified. She did not want to post anything on the forum, on the hope that this informal intervention would work.

Just a few days ago, I got another PM, informing me about a similar incident with the same man. The peregrina has been in touch with Rodrigo, and I have contacted Mario at Santarém Hostel. I have learned that a formal police report was filed — in Coimbra, I think.

The forum members very much wanted me to post something to warn other pilgrims, especially single females, about these incidents. I think the description of the location is clear enough to alert you to where you should be careful.

I will report back with any updates that I get. Stay safe, peregrinas, Laurie
 
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Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Unfortunately this type of person(s) do exist on and off camino, they seem to think it is ok to harass or ”get familiar” ( an old fashion term for being a Jerk) with anyone who passes by. We can never excuse bad behavior, report it For sure! I hope the peregrina will not allow this to ruin her camino and hope she is doing well after the incident.

Stay safe everyone and watch out for each other!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Unfortunately this type of person(s) do exist on and off camino, they seem to think it is ok to harass or ”get familiar” ( an old fashion term for being a Jerk)
This kind of behavior is assault, and goes way beyond being a jerk!
 

Rodrigo Cerqueira

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
Thank You Laurie for your warning. For the last two years I have tried everything to remove Sr. Francisco from the caminho but no pilgrim did any official police report. Today we have received a copy of the official police report. Tomorrow we are going start the process of legally removing Sr. Francisco from the Caminho and bringing back the peace.

Until he is removed please follow this rules to avoid problems (female pilgrims alone) with Sr. Francisco:
- Before you arrive on the crossroad Sr. Francisco is able to check if are walking alone for 10 minutes
- When you arrive on the crossroad where he stays, don´t stop. Just say "Bom dia" and keep walking. Don´t Stamp.
- If he starts talking to you, don´t allow to get close or hug you.
- If he does anything wrong. Call 112 when its possible and explain to the police what happened and please present a complain to the police (GNR)
- If you need help with the translations to ask for help to local people please call +351 913131300 and we will try to help you translate.

Below is photo and the exact location where he stays.
- Location: https://goo.gl/maps/CG3iXJ67jRFqJzhx5
- His facebook https://www.facebook.com/Cantinho-dos-Peregrinos-2572295682843840

francisco.jpg
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you so much, Rodrigo. I know that this is a very complicated situation, because this man seems to have a split personality, with the ugly assault personality reserved for single foreign female peregrinas.

The whole story is reported on the Fátima Association’s facebook page.

 

MisterH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018 neither successful
Thank you so much, Rodrigo. I know that this is a very complicated situation, because this man seems to have a split personality, with the ugly assault personality reserved for single foreign female peregrinas.

The whole story is reported on the Fátima Association’s facebook page.

Something isn't working. All I got was the Facebook home page.
 

Rain

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Del norte, french, Portuguese, via dela plata. Sanabrese, Murcia and finestere
For almost a year now, the Fátima Association (Rodrigo), Santarém Hostel (Mario), and the Via Lusitana have known about incidents involving an elderly (about 80) man on the route to Fátima. He is located about 10 km from Santarém and 2 km before Quinta de Val Flor. He is well known on the camino, has a little place called Cantinho dos Peregrinos where he stamps credentials, and frequently posts pictures of pilgrims stopping there on facebook. My sense is that this is a little stand, not a building or a store.

Last October I got a PM from a forum member who reported a very disturbing incident with this man. Inappropriate touching, forced kissing, but she was able to get away. I put her in contact with Rodrigo and Mario, and a report was filed. Apparently he got a visit from the police (GNR) and was warned that future incidents would result in more serious measures. I think the family was also notified. She did not want to post anything on the forum, on the hope that this informal intervention would work.

Just a few days ago, I got another PM, informing me about a similar incident with the same man. The peregrina has been in touch with Rodrigo, and I have contacted Mario at Santarém Hostel. I have learned that a formal police report was filed — in Coimbra, I think.

The forum members very much wanted me to post something to warn other pilgrims, especially single females, about these incidents. I think the description of the location is clear enough to alert you to where you should be careful.

I will report back with any updates that I get. Stay safe, peregrinas, Laurie
 

CAJohn

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
Rodrigo makes a great point here about people who target tourists or pilgrims. They often benefit from the lack of official complaints. The local police need complaints in order to act. The police in Berlin were very thankful to me about a complaint I made about a group operating near the Bundestag that primarily targets tourists.

If something happens, get yourself to a safe place as quickly and as well as you can. Then contact the authorities. You might run into local authorities who are genuinely grateful for your complaint.
 
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Rodrigo Cerqueira

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
Thank you so much, Rodrigo. I know that this is a very complicated situation, because this man seems to have a split personality, with the ugly assault personality reserved for single foreign female peregrinas.

The whole story is reported on the Fátima Association’s facebook page.


Thank for you support Laurie. Together we make a better Caminho. The reaction of the Portuguese pilgrims is of disbelief. All the best from Portugal.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thank for you support Laurie. Together we make a better Caminho. The reaction of the Portuguese pilgrims is of disbelief. All the best from Portugal.
I am sure you are right about the widespread disbelief. Based on the many pictures of happy pilgrims with him on his facebook page, this man seems to have been a master at keeping two separate personalities clearly separated and pulling one out only when the conditions were ripe. Most of the pictures are of groups or single men, though there are a few single females who seem to have escaped being assaulted by him.

 
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
Related topic only not on the Camino in Portugal. April 2002 (so this is waaaaay back, folks), walking from Puenta la Reina to Pamplona, a gorgeous, sunny April day. Suddenly, a bewhiskered, smiling gentlemen of advanced years sprang from behind the trees waving handfuls of wrapped sweets and wished me "Buen Camino". And embraced this startled American woman and kissed me, whiskerardly, on both cheeks! Amandan and Jurgen were behind me -- note, here, that Jurgen was a 6'6" Swedish gentleman and Amanda a 5'6" Englishwoman, so a formidable pair. When we met later on the trail, both Amanda and I laughed it off, "oh, an adorable elderly and clearly lonely local gentleman who exchanges hugs and kisses for sweeties, isn't that cute!" Well, from the vantage of 2020 and the original thread from Fatima, not so much the "cute". I did not feel in danger, I did not feel threatened, but I am a tough traveler (an ex-boyfriend noted as we walked through the Bowery, "Catherine, no one is going to bother you. You walk like a social worker!"). I have been blessed that upon the many occasions wherein forward motion has indeed veered narrowly between foolish and dangerous, I have emerged unscathed. Shaken, stirred even (!!), yet unscathed. My guardian angels working overtime!
 

igailfh

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Português, Camino de Tejo (Fatima)
I remember this man & his Cantino dos Peregrinos from my Caminho to Fatima. By then I was walking with several other women as a group so we had a pleasant chat with him & got our credentials stamped. I'm now glad we were not each walking alone.
 

marylynn

Ontario Canada
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I remember a similar situation with an elderly bewhiskered man with candy wanting kisses at the side of the trail when I walked my first Camino Frances in May of 2011. It was strange and unsettling.
 
Last edited:
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Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
Well, "my" elderly bewiskered man intent on kisses for candy was in 2002 and yours in 2011, Marylynn! Nine years of his ... er, "practice" -- gosh, I would scarecely credit he -- his brother? -- would still be around.
 

marylynn

Ontario Canada
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I think it is unlikely that it is the same person after so many years, but the routines are similar and equally worrisome. It was a short but disturbing experience that I still remember clearly—except for exactly where it took place.
 
Last edited:

Mycroft

Active Member
Thank You Laurie for your warning. For the last two years I have tried everything to remove Sr. Francisco from the caminho but no pilgrim did any official police report. Today we have received a copy of the official police report. Tomorrow we are going start the process of legally removing Sr. Francisco from the Caminho and bringing back the peace.

Until he is removed please follow this rules to avoid problems (female pilgrims alone) with Sr. Francisco:
- Before you arrive on the crossroad Sr. Francisco is able to check if are walking alone for 10 minutes
- When you arrive on the crossroad where he stays, don´t stop. Just say "Bom dia" and keep walking. Don´t Stamp.
- If he starts talking to you, don´t allow to get close or hug you.
- If he does anything wrong. Call 112 when its possible and explain to the police what happened and please present a complain to the police (GNR)
- If you need help with the translations to ask for help to local people please call +351 913131300 and we will try to help you translate.

Below is photo and the exact location where he stays.
- Location: https://goo.gl/maps/CG3iXJ67jRFqJzhx5
- His facebook https://www.facebook.com/Cantinho-dos-Peregrinos-2572295682843840

View attachment 79500
Thank you, Rodrigo (and others), for this information. As a sexual assault survivor this story gives me chills. As a former director of a rape crisis program, I strongly agree all incidents should be reported and there needs to be follow through. Please thank the women who have come forward.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
I think it is unlikely that it is the same person for so many years, but the routines are similar and equally worrisome. It was a short but disturbing experience that I still remember clearly—except for exactly where it took place.
Accept, please, a virtual hug from me!
 

Rodrigo Cerqueira

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
Hi Laurie, there one action that can make police act faster to remove Sr. Francisco from the Caminho. Please write an email to the Portuguese Police ( GNR Santarém) explaining that you are Pilgrim and you would like to know if Sr. Francisco still is on the Caminho? Ask them if it’s safe for female pilgrims to walk alone.
Email: ct.str@gnr.pt

All the best from Portugal.
Rodrigo Cerqueira
 
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MisterH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018 neither successful
I think that at one time there was a female only group on Facebook that might have been CHMAGAS or something like that. If anyone knows what it is really named, it might convenient for women on this site to check out.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I think that at one time there was a female only group on Facebook that might have been CHMAGAS or something like that. If anyone knows what it is really named, it might convenient for women on this site to check out.
It is called CAMIGAS, and I'm a member. I will try to share the Facebook post with the group
 
Last edited:

Botaivica

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May - July 2016
SJPP - Santiago - Finisterra
May 2017
Caminho do Tejo
June 2017
Fatima - Santiago
I remember this man & his Cantino dos Peregrinos from my Caminho to Fatima. By then I was walking with several other women as a group so we had a pleasant chat with him & got our credentials stamped. I'm now glad we were not each walking alone.
I think that's the place we're talking about, we did not meet him because he was giving an interview to some newspaper.
And there were more of us in the group 😇
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Laurie, there one action that can make police act faster to remove Sr. Francisco from the Caminho. Please write an email to the Portuguese Police ( GNR Santarém) explaining that you are Pilgrim and you would like to know if Sr. Francisco still is on the Caminho? Ask them if it’s safe for female pilgrims to walk alone.
Email: ct.str@gnr.pt

All the best from Portugal.
Rodrigo Cerqueira

I did send an email, describing how I learned about Sr. Francisco. I would think the municipalities in the vicinity would also be very concerned to see that he is charged. I will let you know if I hear anything back, and I really hope that this will soon be nothing but a bad memory. Thanks again so much for all the support you give to pilgrims. Laurie
 
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Rodrigo Cerqueira

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
I did send an email, describing how I learned about Sr. Francisco. I would think the municipalities in the vicinity would also be very concerned to see that he is charged. I will let you know if I hear anything back, and I really hope that this will soon be nothing but a bad memory. Thanks again so much for all the support you give to pilgrims. Laurie

Thank you Laurie for you help.
 

Vanozza

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I have walked part of the Camino Frances one and a half times. I ended in Sahagun in April 2019.
For almost a year now, the Fátima Association (Rodrigo), Santarém Hostel (Mario), and the Via Lusitana have known about incidents involving an elderly (about 80) man on the route to Fátima. He is located about 10 km from Santarém and 2 km before Quinta de Val Flor. He is well known on the camino, has a little place called Cantinho dos Peregrinos where he stamps credentials, and frequently posts pictures of pilgrims stopping there on facebook. My sense is that this is a little stand, not a building or a store.

Last October I got a PM from a forum member who reported a very disturbing incident with this man. Inappropriate touching, forced kissing, but she was able to get away. I put her in contact with Rodrigo and Mario, and a report was filed. Apparently he got a visit from the police (GNR) and was warned that future incidents would result in more serious measures. I think the family was also notified. She did not want to post anything on the forum, on the hope that this informal intervention would work.

Just a few days ago, I got another PM, informing me about a similar incident with the same man. The peregrina has been in touch with Rodrigo, and I have contacted Mario at Santarém Hostel. I have learned that a formal police report was filed — in Coimbra, I think.

The forum members very much wanted me to post something to warn other pilgrims, especially single females, about these incidents. I think the description of the location is clear enough to alert you to where you should be careful.

I will report back with any updates that I get. Stay safe, peregrinas, Laurie
I bet that if he got punched in the nose a few times this behavior would come to a halt.
 

4 Eyes

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
In 2014, in Castrojeriz, a very old man barely able to walk on his cane groped my companion pilgrim with his free hand then put his free arm around her neck to hook her and forcibly kissed her. She was caught by surprise. He then waved for other women pilgrims to come to him with his lips puckered offering to kiss them. He did all this in the center of town in public view. He was laughing the whole time. I couldn't believe my eyes. He must have done that a thousand times. He was not reported that time and probably never reported because he was so pathetically old and rickety. One push and he would have been down on the ground. I still don't know what to make of this old man. I walked there again in 2018 but did not see him. He's probably not around anymore.
 

4 Eyes

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
Also on the Via de la Plata, in 2015, at the fork (a remote spot) shortly before Riolobos, an oldish man with a dog by the name of Pepe lied in wait. He told pilgrims to take the right fork which led to the route that had been blocked by the farm owner and guarded with mean dogs. He also tried to lure female pilgrims to his home situated along that route. One of my pilgrim friends actually went with him. He made her lunch and proposed to her. She thought he was harmless. The hostel owner at Riolobos said he knew Pepe and Pepe is crazy. Don't know if he is still around. In any event don't go with him unless you want a proposal.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
In 2014, in Castrojeriz, a very old man barely able to walk on his cane groped my companion pilgrim with his free hand then put his free arm around her neck to hook her and forcibly kissed her. She was caught by surprise. He then waved for other women pilgrims to come to him with his lips puckered offering to kiss them. He did all this in the center of town in public view. He was laughing the whole time. I couldn't believe my eyes. He must have done that a thousand times. He was not reported that time and probably never reported because he was so pathetically old and rickety. One push and he would have been down on the ground. I still don't know what to make of this old man. I walked there again in 2018 but did not see him. He's probably not around anymore.
He was reported many times but I don't remember if anything really happened re moving him off the peregrinas. There's an old thread about him.
 
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Rodrigo Cerqueira

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
3 French from St. Jean Pied Port, 3 Portuguese from Lisbon, 1 Portuguese from Porto, 1 Primitivo from Oviedo, 19 Lisbon - Fatima, 2 Porto - Fatima, 1 Coimbra - Fátima... Open the caminhos Nascente Fátima - Tomar, Poente Nazaré- Fátima, the north connection from Fátima to Ansião and Caminho Santiago central.
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
In 2014, in Castrojeriz, a very old man barely able to walk on his cane groped my companion pilgrim with his free hand then put his free arm around her neck to hook her and forcibly kissed her. She was caught by surprise. He then waved for other women pilgrims to come to him with his lips puckered offering to kiss them. He did all this in the center of town in public view.
Me too, in 2015. My thought at the time was that he was just another unpleasant but not dangerous 'dirty old man.' I did not see him in 2017 or last year, and vaguely remember a post here somewhere saying he had been spoken to by the authorities.
 

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