Is Richard Aukcoo Fowler the Iquitos Scoundrel?

by Captain Bill

Is Richard Aukcoo Fowler the Scoundrel of Iquitos Peru?

Richard Aukoo Fowler

Richard Fowler, one of the controversial “characters” of Iquitos, is under attack again. I have been following along on several forums and blogs, such as this entry, Two Gringos Swindled by Another Gringo in Iquitos, in the Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum.

By far the most literate and entertaining blog with references to Richard Fowler is Going Feral in South America. The post, titled The Sloe Tide, has this exerpt:

“You frighten me Richard Fowler,” hissed a weary and cross-legged Frederick Noble. Peppery perspiration was stained and seeping through his Amazon shirt made only from the most gore-texy of gore-tex items. Richard Fowler grinned as his sinewy bulbs of knuckle searched over to Noble and fished into the blimp owner’s breast pocket for a cherry cheroot. He struck the waterproof-ed match and lit his tube of fire. Noble watched the gaunt and possibly drunk man inhale. The smoke lingered beneath the foliage and banana leaves before being expounded by beams of dusty sunlight cutting into their cavity of canopy.”

There are very few Gringos working in tourism in Iquitos, so I know Richard Fowler. We are neither partners nor competitors. I am not writing this to attack or defend Richard Aukcoo Fowler. I am writing this to tell it like it like I see it. That is what I do.

Many of the accusations are probably true. Some say Fowler is an alcoholic, and possibly a drug user. I suspect that accusation is greatly exaggerated. His documents may not be in order. He can wear a person out just by talking, and most of the stories are about his exploits and Aukcooisms.

Richard’s niche is mostly hard core, adventurous, soldier of fortune, survivalist types. His tours are rough, with few comforts.

He can identify nearly everything in the rainforest by its common English, Spanish, and scientific name and knows their ethno-botanical use. He can enter the deepest, densest remote area and, most importantly, get back out again. He can call in jungle cats. He has stalked and captured one of the rarest mammals on earth, an Amazon Wild Dog. These qualities place him among the elite guides.

I know two older gentlemen who will not go to the jungle with anyone else. He is strong; they use him for a walking stick.

Richard charges $50 per day or $100 if it is one person. One of the complaints is he was getting rich while not paying the natives enough. That complaint is crazy. He is not getting rich. He can’t pay the rent. I wouldn’t take you across the river within sight of Iquitos for $50.

Do not pack your preconceptions into the Amazon Rainforest. Unskilled hard labor right here in Iquitos is $3 per day. For a Matses indigenous a hundred miles up the Rio Yavari, $3 per day is a windfall. It is $3 more than they would have if Richard Aukcoo Fowler did not take a few adventurers to them.

A person whose internet name is J Hampshire has pursued the vendetta against Richard Aukcoo Fowler. Apparently J Hampshire had a bad experience with Fowler. Aukcoo claims he has no idea who J Hampshire is.

I admire the effort that J Hampshire has put into this cause. He has contacted every paper in Iquitos, posted on lots of blogs and forums, and tried many other methods to ruin Richard. Fowler’s rap sheet is all over Iquitos, Florida, the internet, and thus the world. I have examined it carefully.

It is interesting how small events change the course of a person’s life. Aukcoo’s problems with the law started out with an assault and battery, then a disorderly conduct, then an assault and battery, and then there are several years with no infractions. I bet the judge said, “Son, you like to fight and cause trouble. Either join the armed forces and go to Viet Nam or go to jail. Which will it be?” Perhaps I am wrong about that.

“Viet Nam, your honor.” In Viet Nam, Fowler learned to be really dangerous.

In 1975 he was charged with transporting explosives with intent to do harm to life and limb. It is important to note that all charges were dismissed.

In fact all charges were dismissed until 1996 when he paid a $253 fine and spent three days in jail. When you look closely at Fowler’s rap sheet, all but one of the charges were dismissed. He paid his fine, served his time, and made a new life. Let it go.

Fowler may be a seriously flawed human being. J Hampshire may be a good person with every reason to be angry. However, in my opinion, J Hampshire crossed the line when he swift-boated Richard Fowler’s military service.

Richard Fowler, while serving in the 101st Airborne at the age of 19, fought to recapture the city of Hue during the Tet offensive in late January and early February of 1968. I am asking you, as a point of honor, do not swift-boat Richard Fowler’s military service. No matter what Richard Fowler’s other faults may be he is an American hero.

I am sure this post will be controversial and I look forward to reading the comments from anyone that has been on an expedition with Richard Auckoo Fowler, both pro and con.

Is Richard Aukcoo Fowler the Scoundrel of Iquitos Peru?

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Bill Grimes

Welcome to Iquitos Peru

Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises

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