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Old 04-18-2011, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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I'm heading to Guayaquil in a few days and have been a bit alarmed at some of the stuff I have been reading about "secuestro express" (kidnapping after getting into a cab) etc. Can someone who is an experienced traveler and been to Guayaquil shed some light on what exactly the truth is here? Some people are leading me to believe that the city is exceptionally dangerous and there is a high chance I will be mugged or robbed even during the day in most of the city except an extremely small section along the pier (Malecon 2000), I find this very hard to believe but I haven't been there yet so I don't know...

I was also told the same thing about Mexico city that I would die the moment I exited the airport (j/k) but it was pure exaggeration and I had a wonderful time there without any incident whatsoever, infact I even rode the metro at midnight and found it safe so I have no idea what is true or false anymore...there wasn't any MORE crime than usual for a major metro area.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Like anywhere else, it depends on whether you stay in bars until closing time and then go with strangers who know another place that is still open. The lifestyle you choose has more to do with your safety than the people who live around you.

Carry all valuables with you all the time, in a moneybelt. If you're walking down the street and somebody says "'Allo, Meester", keep on going. If you accidentally find yourself walking in a neighborhood that looks scary, walk in the middle of the street until you feel that you are safe.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:18 AM
 
Location: Macao
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I spent a month in Quito Ecuador in 1997. Everything changes all the time, so I don't know what it's like these days. But, I didn't have any alarm bells going off more than anywhere else, and I went out often late into the nights.

But, having also spent ten months traveling around South America, all I can really say is that all of what you read about DOES happen. That being said, I wouldn't worry about it. The chance of it happening to you isn't that high.

I take these things like reading about lottery winners. If you watch the news, there is someone hitting the million dollar lottery several times a week. But, you can play all the tickets you want all the time, and it probably won't happen to you. But, there is a rare rare rare chance that it could happen.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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is keeping money, passport and credit/atm cards in my money belt safe? I also plan to carry a little cash in a decoy wallet incase I am robbed. How likely is it that muggers would access a money belt?

I do not plan to stay out late at night, say not after 7pm or so. How likely is it that one would be mugged on the streets during daytime in the center of town?
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
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I haven't been to Ecuador, but I did spend a good amount of time in Colombia (and i'd say colombia has the same problems to a greater extent) so I will give my .02.

As to what Tiger Beer said, it happens, but the chances of it happening to you aren't extremely high, but there is always the possibility, so stay smart.

I met a lot of people that had been robbed in Bogotá, but I feel that they were being stupid. Most of the travelers I met during my stay in Colombia were obnoxious *******s looking for sex tourism and drugs. Its no wonder they faced problems, plus they came down without knowing any spanish or anything about the country.

As jtur said, your lifestyle down there will determine how safely you live, exactly like USA.

I have a feeling once you get down there, you aren't going to bother with the money belt and all that decoy money. Don't carry too much money on you, but if you're robbed .. you're robbed, just do whatever they say and don't resist.

Take a day or two to get accustomed to the cities and don't go out at night, but after you're used to it you should be just fine. I had no problems being out in the night time in any Colombian cities, but was I walking down empty streets and alleys? nope.

its just common sense basically, usually when someone gets robbed, its because they put themselves in a position they should have avoided in the first place alltogether. If something feels fishy, it probably is.

Taxi problems are usually overplayed, the only time I called for taxis instead of hailing them down was when I finished my poker sessions at the casinos because i'd have a lot of cash on me
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k374 View Post
is keeping money, passport and credit/atm cards in my money belt safe? I also plan to carry a little cash in a decoy wallet incase I am robbed. How likely is it that muggers would access a money belt?

I do not plan to stay out late at night, say not after 7pm or so. How likely is it that one would be mugged on the streets during daytime in the center of town?
There are a hundred pickpockets out there, for every mugger. The vast majority of crime in the third world is crime-of-opportunity. Nobody will bother you unless you look like an easy mark. But if you're faced with a mugger, he will pretty much get whatever he wants, no matter what precautions you take. If he takes your clothes, there's a pretty good chance he'll find your money belt.

If you stick to highly visible places, there is little risk of being accosted in the daytime. I've seen, several times, local people chase down and beat up people when they saw them robbing someone. If anyone sees you in trouble, there is a good chance that they'll be on your side, and help you if they can. But don't depend on the police to be much help.

Remember that in Ecuador, it gets dark at 6pm local time, all year round, and they don't observe DST.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I've seen, several times, local people chase down and beat up people when they saw them robbing someone.
Oh, this is quite true here in Brazil, and I think it's usual in Ecuador too.

By the way, if you come to Brazil some day, in the very unlikely event of you being robbed in a public place where there are many people (not likely, but possible), you should learn this phrase: "PEGA LADRÃO!" ("Chase the robber!" in Portuguese). Shout it loudly, AFTER the robber finish his "work" and is some meters away from you, and only if the robber doesn't have a firearm, but just a knife or something like that. Once you shout "pega ladrão", there is a great chance people will chase the robber and beat him a lot.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,212,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalaMan View Post
Oh, this is quite true here in Brazil, and I think it's usual in Ecuador too.

By the way, if you come to Brazil some day, in the very unlikely event of you being robbed in a public place where there are many people (not likely, but possible), you should learn this phrase: "PEGA LADRÃO!" ("Chase the robber!" in Portuguese). Shout it loudly, AFTER the robber finish his "work" and is some meters away from you, and only if the robber doesn't have a firearm, but just a knife or something like that. Once you shout "pega ladrão", there is a great chance people will chase the robber and beat him a lot.
Brazil is one of the places I saw it, in Porto Alrgre. A middle aged woman was walking alone, and someone grabbed her purse and the jacket she carried over her arm. I don't recall hearing her shout anytning, but two young men chased the ladrão down and beat the crap out of him.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,217,358 times
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If you're gonna do that you better make DAMN sure they have a gun and are not operating with anybody else. Your life is a lot more important than your money. Even if they have a knife, its just not worth it, one cut to an artery and you're dead.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:33 PM
 
32,055 posts, read 32,950,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I spent a month in Quito Ecuador in 1997. Everything changes all the time, so I don't know what it's like these days. But, I didn't have any alarm bells going off more than anywhere else, and I went out often late into the nights.
I spent a year in Guayaquil (1996/7) and the main crimes were muggings in the street and house robberies. (There wasn't a problem of kidnappings at that time.) I was never mugged but the family whose house I rented a room in had their laundry stolen off their backyard clothing line while I was living there. (They had a dog but the thieves must have fed it drugged meat as it slept through the robbery.)
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