Tou Ger Xiong, an American comedian and activist, was tragically murdered in Medellín, Colombia, following his attendance at a Karol G concert. Xiong, known for his vibrant humor and commitment to social causes, became the latest victim of a rising trend of crimes targeting tourists in Colombian cities.
Days before his death, Xiong had been enjoying the dynamic environment of the concert, capturing moments of the event on camera. Unbeknownst to him, his decision to meet a woman he had connected with online would lead him into a perilous situation, characteristic of the honeytrap schemes prevalent in the area.
These schemes, which have become a significant concern in Colombian cities like Medellín, typically involve gangs that target tourists, often using powerful sedatives like scopolamine to incapacitate their victims. The US Embassy in Bogota had previously issued warnings about the dangers associated with online dating applications, particularly for foreigners.
Xiong’s kidnapping and subsequent murder unfolded under mysterious circumstances. He had contacted his brother, Eh, and a friend, revealing that he was being held for a ransom of $2,000. Prior to this, police had responded to a call at Xiong’s apartment, where a woman was seen removing items before fleeing the scene.
The grim discovery of Xiong’s body in the La Corcovado ravine, bearing over a dozen stab wounds and bruises, suggested that his captors had resorted to violence. The possibility that his death occurred during an attempted escape is being investigated by authorities.
This incident mirrors the unfortunate fate of another Asian American tourist, Paul Nguyen, in Medellín, further highlighting the risks associated with using dating apps to connect with locals in high-risk areas.
Tou Ger Xiong’s death is the 27th violent fatality involving a non-migrant foreigner in Colombia’s Aburra Valley this year, indicating a concerning uptick in kidnappings and violent crimes in the region. The state of Antioquia, where Medellín is located, has seen an 88% increase in kidnapping cases.
As Eh Xiong liaises with US Embassy officials to repatriate his brother’s remains to Minnesota, the search for justice continues. One suspect has been arrested in connection with the case, but the investigation is ongoing to uncover the full extent of the criminal network responsible for Tou Ger Xiong’s death.