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Top 5 Tactics on How Not To Get Robbed in Colombia

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1. Never resist if you are a robbery victim.

Many homicide victims in Medellín resisted robberies. It’s not worth risking your life for some money and/or possessions. Don’t try to be a hero. This is the most important takeaway from my experience of being robbed. Never resist and give the thief what he wants.

2. Don’t flash your cellphones, cameras, jewelry or money around.

In addition, pickpocketing and purse snatching is common in some public places. Distraction is frequently the strategy, so be alert and keep an eye on your belongings. Also, be aware of your surroundings when using your cellphone.

3. Be careful in El Centro (Downtown Medellin).

If you’re not as physically attractive as the criminals, they could associate you with that. Instead of making yourself as conspicuous as possible, consider going outside into the streets and taking photos. Or, if you don’t have a camera, try keeping a distance between you and strangers. This is admittedly subjective because El Centro is whack, but be careful to minimize your exposures when hanging outside, walking between areas and meeting other people. Otherwise you could be easily exposed. I also recommend watching out for or avoiding areas with heavy foot and MOTORCYCLE traffic.  Watch out for 2 Guys on one motorcycle… Careful!

4. Get in the house early, before 10pm.

As it gets later & darker your chances of getting robbed increase about 30%.

5. When in doubt, leave your wallet at home –

Put some money in your shoe.  This is emergency money to get you home in a taxi.

6. Don’t take chances getting robbed by walking behind people or on foot.

I learned this lesson the hard way when a group of muggers attached Robin Hood School flags to a motorcycle. I braved the distraction and was robbed at gunpoint anyway, so it’s probably not a good idea.

7. Don’t go out at nighttime if you don’t have to.

Being followed is a common tactic used by many criminals to discourage you from walking out in public and getting mugged. Because of many of the popular tourist spots in Colombia, such as Bogotá and Cartagena, being followed can be an effective tactic to avoid being mugged.

8. Don’t take your phone out much.

Use a GoPro, Snapchat glasses, and your watch for navigation.

—————–  I Keep adding more tips to this Blog

In Colombia, drug lords operate throughout the city. They offer discounts for carjacking victims or reward new customers for criminals’ car also containing drugs. One restaurant owner told me his $3,000 and two phones was reduced to a few dollars when a hit was made on his restaurant.
Miguel Rojas, 36, was downtown after buying his brother a bicycle. As he was being robbed, a stranger grabbed his bike bag and fled on foot. Rojas recalled how he took two sledgehammers to the robber’s legs. He told TIME how it felt as if he was fighting his own body. Fortunately, no money or valuables were stolen.

In Los Cabos, I heard many violent confrontations recently. Most of the time, the perpetrator would enter businesses/shopping centers/attractions alone and attack the victim one-on-one. If you can’t avoid a confrontation, wear a mask in public places. And use biometrics to open safely.

9. Avoid going out alone. Sometimes you know, don’t go out at all. It’s unwise to pay people to look out for you — you could be robbed as soon as you get home. Also, stay at your place to avoid confronting people walking alone.

10. Use common sense when drinking alcohol. If you drink too much, you could lose consciousness, be intimidated, and make mistakes that could get you into trouble. And if you go out alone, know that you don’t have to carry a gun or dress like a real gang member. A black hat is common in Medellin and sometimes others look like hombres.

11. Don’t let your cage get too small. We all often complain about our lack of freedom. But, we tend to forget that we also have a need to maintain our social distance. And the moment you allow yourself to have social contact with others, you risk getting infected. In other words, consistent social distancing is mandatory for anyone going out to meet others and/or socialize with them.

12. Ensure you carry your passport when leaving your country. I thought this was a requirement to enter Ecuador without border problems or travel complications. I then learned that you only need it for immigration purposes when returning home. I always carry my passport when leaving so that I could always present my documents.

13. Drive carefully. Since lots of foreign cars are used for drug deals, car-jackings (attempts to steal vehicles) and other violent crimes, be aware.

14. Take taxi cabs. In Medellin, I had a couple of confrontations with taxi drivers, personally. They were rude (and some of them could be dangerous), but I learned to recognize them and avoid getting in their cars. It’s usually dangerous to walk around sleeping or driving.

15. Never give your belongings to a stranger.  Make sure to keep your belongings safely lockable and your house (with your cellphone and camera) locked. Invest in a coin lock or combination lock.

 

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