Ecuador: Express Kidnappings Plague Guayaquil

Apr 30, 2009 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: WorldTravelWatch.com

Express kidnappings by taxi drivers working with accomplices have become a significant problem in Guayaquil.

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Kurt H

Las Vegas, NV

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#1
May 1, 2009
 
Four members of Mending Kids International were mugged in a taxicab incident last night. The organization comes with a team of about 46 surgeons, nurses etc., to perform open heart surgery on kids otherwise unable to receive such treatment.
The criminal/s involved may have inadvertantly affected the lives of some of their own children in need of urgent lifechanging healthcare. Will the organization have the same will to expose themselves to the dangers of kidnappings, etc., in the future?
rkw

Towson, MD

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#2
May 12, 2009
 
Loja/Vilcabamba Ecuador: There are locals working with bus drivers and bus driver assistants in robbing people. These are local buses used to transport individuals from Loja station to Vilcabamba. Locals attempt to distract you by dropping their cell phone,sim card,etc-when you turn to look, an accomplice grabs your purse,bag,etc. In addition, these buses have a rear trunk to store a few bags-do not place your bags with the bus driver or his assistant. The asst hands your bag to a local without your knowledge. This is a major issue in Loja but its covered up. Many tourists are being robbed using this scheme and bus companies have no liabilty for the your loss. Keep your passport/cash under your clothing and if possible, your bag on your lap-and DO NOT GET DISTRACTED BY SOMEONE DROPPING SOMETHING NEAR YOU TO GET YOUR ATTENTION. It's unfortunate that bus drivers and their assistants are working with the locals to steal your belongings.
keith watkins

Tolland, CT

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#3
May 25, 2009
 
well traveling in ecuador the first order of business is to blend in with the people right off the plane dont wear sneakers becuse no one wears them over there men wear black dress shoes, women wear black balley dancing shoes or something similar dress very simple single color t shirt dark blue jeans not new, do not talk or attempt to talk, arrive in the daytime and rent a cheap car not new, so you dont have to interact with the public to get around this will save you...stay in well lit hotels or motels dont go out at night to unknown places..another thing when i was there we got pulled over at night, one of the locals i was there with was drinking but not drunk, the police gave him brethalizer which is administered by breathing in the cops face, the cop demanded 50 bucks or go to jail we paid him and went home,,if you go out for nitelife come home before 1:00am anything after that is inviting trouble..either than that i loved ecuador..its just like going to new york you have to be safe period..
gringoloco

Denver, CO

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#4
Jul 2, 2009
 

Judged:

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be extemeley careful in guayaquil. i would not recomend to anyone who does not speak fluent spanish. in a taxi, do not let the driver talk on the phone. if you are scared request a police escort but be careful , they are miserebly corrupt. travel durin the day, avoid nighttime ventures. there are some raging clubs in the city but it is not woth the hassle. this is probably the moste dangerous city in south america. make sure to stay out of jail. if you do get thrown in get one of the women lawyers, they visit in the morning. you cannot bail you self out of jail in ecuador. in most cases the lawyer will bribe the commisaria{ judge} and get you out. be careful possesion of weed is a big deal as is coke. drinking in the public is forbidden. and they do not like americans down there. my advice , after being there 3 times in the last 6 months is don/t bother. the city is nothing but trouble
latino_gringo

Moffat, CO

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#5
Jul 4, 2009
 
keith watkins wrote:
well traveling in ecuador the first order of business is to blend in with the people right off the plane dont wear sneakers becuse no one wears them over there men wear black dress shoes, women wear black balley dancing shoes or something similar dress very simple single color t shirt dark blue jeans not new, do not talk or attempt to talk, arrive in the daytime and rent a cheap car not new, so you dont have to interact with the public to get around this will save you...stay in well lit hotels or motels dont go out at night to unknown places..another thing when i was there we got pulled over at night, one of the locals i was there with was drinking but not drunk, the police gave him brethalizer which is administered by breathing in the cops face, the cop demanded 50 bucks or go to jail we paid him and went home,,if you go out for nitelife come home before 1:00am anything after that is inviting trouble..either than that i loved ecuador..its just like going to new york you have to be safe period..
I beg to differ with you on mens shoes, most men wear sneakers....Nike, Puma, Tommy Helfinger etc. A lot of older men to wear dress shirts and dress shoes though. MOst women wear t-shirts and jeans also.

Certain neighborhoods should be avoided. Any hotel there can tell you what neighborhoods to stay out of.

Unemployment in GYE is 14%. People are already desperate for money so stealing works.

I agree about blending in as much as possible. Most people wear everyday clothes like here in the US or Europe.
James

Ecuador

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#6
Jul 13, 2009
 
latino_gringo wrote:
<quoted text>
I beg to differ with you on mens shoes, most men wear sneakers....Nike, Puma, Tommy Helfinger etc. A lot of older men to wear dress shirts and dress shoes though. MOst women wear t-shirts and jeans also.
Certain neighborhoods should be avoided. Any hotel there can tell you what neighborhoods to stay out of.
Unemployment in GYE is 14%. People are already desperate for money so stealing works.
I agree about blending in as much as possible. Most people wear everyday clothes like here in the US or Europe.
GYE is a dangerous city. No doubt about that. If you are european or American you are already going to stand out in ecuador. Street theft is the most common(camaras, watches, backpacks) but can include more violent encounters such as armed muggings with serious intentions. Public busses aren't a very good idea as they travel through many dangerous areas, making it easier for the theives to rob. After dark, use caution and never travel into areas you are not familiar with. Common sense is the key here, enjoy the many wonderful things the city and its people offer and return home with a positive memory of your trip to Ecuador.
Guayagringa

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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#7
Dec 21, 2009
 
I am an American woman who has lived in Guayaquil for years. I use public busses, and work until late at night. I use common sense and have never had a problem. Of course Guayuaquil can be dangerous...all big cities are. But I think it has gotten a worse rap than it deserves.
eolara

Newberg, OR

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#8
Mar 12, 2010
 
latino_gringo wrote:
<quoted text>
I beg to differ with you on mens shoes, most men wear sneakers....Nike, Puma, Tommy Helfinger etc. A lot of older men to wear dress shirts and dress shoes though. MOst women wear t-shirts and jeans also.
Certain neighborhoods should be avoided. Any hotel there can tell you what neighborhoods to stay out of.
Unemployment in GYE is 14%. People are already desperate for money so stealing works.
I agree about blending in as much as possible. Most people wear everyday clothes like here in the US or Europe.
thanks for some sane perspective :)

Since: Jan 10

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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#9
Mar 12, 2010
 
eolara wrote:
<quoted text>
thanks for some sane perspective :)
Thank you. People seem to forget that Ecuador is still a 3rd world country, The police are ineffective and when you have no job, and become desperate...desperate people do desperate things! Some of my friends and family have not been able to find a job here in almost 2 years!

Express Kidnapping has gotten less recently, but an easy was to avoid that situation is to take a cab from an authorized cab company at each mall. Common sense is the rule of the day here or in any other city!
Limeypie52

Charlottesville, VA

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#10
Mar 28, 2010
 
Whoa! I'm planning on going to Vilcabamba with my 9yr old for the month of Sept. I had planned to fly into Quito then Loja & get a private taxi to Vilcabamba. I was told it would cost about $35.00. Someone else said it would be more expedient to fly into Guayaquil then take a 9 hr bus ride to Vilcabamba. I thought, "Well, that would be a way to see more of the country." After reading this & a few other articles though, I'm not sure that it would be very safe. But then, there are the scams in Loja too. We don't speak Spanish & will stand out, no matter what we wear. Any suggestions....?!

Since: Jan 10

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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#11
Mar 29, 2010
 
Limeypie52 wrote:
Whoa! I'm planning on going to Vilcabamba with my 9yr old for the month of Sept. I had planned to fly into Quito then Loja & get a private taxi to Vilcabamba. I was told it would cost about $35.00. Someone else said it would be more expedient to fly into Guayaquil then take a 9 hr bus ride to Vilcabamba. I thought, "Well, that would be a way to see more of the country." After reading this & a few other articles though, I'm not sure that it would be very safe. But then, there are the scams in Loja too. We don't speak Spanish & will stand out, no matter what we wear. Any suggestions....?!
Taking a bus from Guayaquil to Vilcabamba would be okay. The bus would be air conditioned and you might even see a movie. The new bus terminal is very good, but there is a potential for purse snatchers and the like.

Not speaking spanish will be a problem. Even though they teach English in school here, most people don;t have to opportunity to speak it. Although, you can find people here who speak english somewhat and can help you.

My biggest advise that I can give you, is bring little cash with you. Have a debit card for the ATM. Most taxi drivers can't change a $10 bill, so 5s and 1s are your best bet.

Any city is dangerous, but if you keep your eyes open and stay alert you should be okay. Also any taxi driver for a fee will show you sites. if it were me, however, I'd take a nice air condiitioned 'chinese made' bus and relax.

Might try to learn some basic spanish before you arrive too.
Limeypie52

Charlottesville, VA

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#12
Mar 29, 2010
 
Thank-you latino-gringo! I have a Spanish language set & am in the process of listening to it. I lived in Madrid, Spain for almost 2 years when I was a teen, so I know words...just not proper grammer. I'll sound like an old grade B western movie..."Me, kenosabi...!" "Chinese-made" bus...haha...same here, no doubt! Would one take a taxi from the airport to the bus station or do the busses run from the airport too? I liked the idea of a leisurely ride through the countryside! Flying isn't my favorite thing to do!
Thanks for your response!

Since: Mar 10

Calan, Romania

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#13
Mar 30, 2010
 
Guayagringa wrote:
I am an American woman who has lived in Guayaquil for years. I use public busses, and work until late at night. I use common sense and have never had a problem. Of course Guayuaquil can be dangerous...all big cities are. But I think it has gotten a worse rap than it deserves.
http://www.crestinabsolut.webs.com/
vicky

Ecuador

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#15
Apr 22, 2010
 
I am a black, I just arrived to quito few weeks ago, I want to comment that quito is not quite a place that likes blacks or negros bcos in the area i live, little kids do run away when they see me passing,why??? I want to know the best city that associates with blacks more, I am ready to settle down in ecuador and set up a ready business when am through with the language study.

I am still single. I would like to hear from someone here, pls send me mail- sunniblack94@yahoo.com

Since: Jan 10

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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#16
Apr 22, 2010
 
Limeypie52 wrote:
Thank-you latino-gringo! I have a Spanish language set & am in the process of listening to it. I lived in Madrid, Spain for almost 2 years when I was a teen, so I know words...just not proper grammer. I'll sound like an old grade B western movie..."Me, kenosabi...!" "Chinese-made" bus...haha...same here, no doubt! Would one take a taxi from the airport to the bus station or do the busses run from the airport too? I liked the idea of a leisurely ride through the countryside! Flying isn't my favorite thing to do!
Thanks for your response!
The airport is a short distance away from the bus terminal. I'd take a bus instead of a public bus. Mainland spanish is of course different from any country in South America. The 'th' sound is not used with words here, and some words don't mean the thing, but you should be okay.
Lady J

Foothill Ranch, CA

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#17
Apr 23, 2010
 
Guayaquil is like any big city and the problems that accompany big citys.You can also get mugged and killed here in the US too, but I avoid places that are dangerous here in California!
I was born there but raised in California and go back once a year.I have never had any problems. Why on earth would I be thrown in jail, I am a law abiding citizen? I do not know what you could have done??? You have to use common sense as you would in any big city.
I would suggest you go see Vilcabamba which is like the Garden of Eden, once you go there you are not the same, you may want to stay for it is beautiful. Many Americans are there. The Galapagos Islands are also awesome if you like nature, Bartolome Island is very pretty, also Bahia de Santa Fe.
About not liking American, thatis not true, Ecuadoreans welcome anyone!
Go to garyscott.com and you will see what is said about Ecuador!
gringoloco wrote:
be extemeley careful in guayaquil. i would not recomend to anyone who does not speak fluent spanish. in a taxi, do not let the driver talk on the phone. if you are scared request a police escort but be careful , they are miserebly corrupt. travel durin the day, avoid nighttime ventures. there are some raging clubs in the city but it is not woth the hassle. this is probably the moste dangerous city in south america. make sure to stay out of jail. if you do get thrown in get one of the women lawyers, they visit in the morning. you cannot bail you self out of jail in ecuador. in most cases the lawyer will bribe the commisaria{ judge} and get you out. be careful possesion of weed is a big deal as is coke. drinking in the public is forbidden. and they do not like americans down there. my advice , after being there 3 times in the last 6 months is don/t bother. the city is nothing but trouble
dean

Machala, Ecuador

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#18
Apr 23, 2010
 
vicky wrote:
I am a black, I just arrived to quito few weeks ago, I want to comment that quito is not quite a place that likes blacks or negros bcos in the area i live, little kids do run away when they see me passing,why??? I want to know the best city that associates with blacks more, I am ready to settle down in ecuador and set up a ready business when am through with the language study.
I am still single. I would like to hear from someone here, pls send me mail- sunniblack94@yahoo.com
Vicky,Guayaquil has a large black population. Also,english is spoken there and you can find spanish classes there also. I live in esmeraldas on the northern coast.It is home to the largest black population in the country. I would think Guayaquil would be your best bet. Esmeraldas is a great place to live, for me I enjoy the beach and the laid back lifestyle here. Either way, you should feel better than in Quito. Drugs and muggings are common around gringolandia, amazonas and colon.Unfortunately, some blacks have been heavily involved in this and many residents associate this with all blacks now in Quito. Anyway,I wish you the best and good luck in the future.
vicky

Machala, Ecuador

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#19
May 6, 2010
 
dean thanks very much on ur comments. I will leave from quito by ending of this month or next to guayaquil or esmeraldas. I want to know the cost of a self contained 1 room or 2 rooms apartment in guayaquil or esmeraldas? The blacks in quito are from different nationalities like Africa,Colombians,Ecuadorians.

If you can be of help to me, i will appreciate it. Thanks very much. I have lived in many countries but this kind of discrimination in quito against blacks is too much.

Since: Jan 10

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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#20
May 7, 2010
 
vicky wrote:
dean thanks very much on ur comments. I will leave from quito by ending of this month or next to guayaquil or esmeraldas. I want to know the cost of a self contained 1 room or 2 rooms apartment in guayaquil or esmeraldas? The blacks in quito are from different nationalities like Africa,Colombians,Ecuadorians.
If you can be of help to me, i will appreciate it. Thanks very much. I have lived in many countries but this kind of discrimination in quito against blacks is too much.
Yes, esmeraldas is better for black people. There is a very nice beach there, as was mentioned above.

Apartments are hard to find in Guayaquil, as most offspring can not afford to live on their own due to low salaries and what apartments are available will not be 'american style' in nature. Each time I have tried to locate an apartment, it has taken 3 months or more to find one. Most apartments now have no stove or refrigerator as landlords have stopped offering them due to tenants damaging them. In the better part of town a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment will run you $400 a month. if you want an 'American Style', could cost you $1,000 or more. All apartments come with a 1 year lease also with first months rent and a security deposit on signing the lease. If your coming the end of this month or next, it will be hard for you to find an apartment.

English is spoken here in the city the people that speak it are far in between. It has been my experience that most do not know or understand english even though they learn it in school. There are no spanish language schools in Guayaquil either.(If someone knows of one, please tell me where).
vicky

Machala, Ecuador

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#21
May 8, 2010
 
thank you very much for your writeup. I will make my decisions because I want to settle down in ecuador and setup a business like locale or restaurant after I have learnt spanish language.
Could you please tell me more about esmeraldas and the cost of getting apartments there.
Pls board, dont be irritated with my message, if you were in my shoes, you will feel like me

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