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)

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

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read