Nicaragua: New "Friends" Lure Victims into Taxi Kidnappings

Jul 28, 2010 Full story: WorldTravelWatch.com 44

The U.S. Embassy in Managua reported that nearly a dozen taxi kidnappings occurred in the past month in several areas, including around the international airport, along bus routes to and from San Juan del Sur, San Jorge, Granada, Managua, Esteli and Masaya, and in the city of Managua.

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Michael A Martinez

Granada, Nicaragua

#21 Oct 17, 2011
In any place in the world you can find crime happening. Nicaragua being such a poor Country has less crime than most countries. I have traveled Central America quite a bit for the last eight years and I find Nicaragua to be the safest country in the Region.
There is news everyday, most of it has an agenda. Be very careful as to what you believe. Many Governments now, do not want their citizens leaving and taking their savings with them, so we are going to see an increase in these type of news articles.
Do your homework and go with your hart. Nicaragua is a great place , one must be careful and prudent in this ever changing times , but you discover great new places as we have here in Nicaragua.
Hansen

Aarhus, Denmark

#22 Oct 18, 2011
We are from Scandinavia - and we went to Nicaragua for 2 weeks this summer -(father and mother + 3 boys: 19,24,27 years), travelin with taxis and local busses and had the most wonderfull time - and the people we met were so friendly. We can highly recommend everyone to visit Nicaragua.
In Costa Rica we met a lot of americans, who told us, that Nicaragua was really dangerous - and we asked: Have You been there?- and there answer were: NO. We asked: So how do You Know? They said: thats what we are told back in USA.
Leo in Guadalupe

San Josť, Costa Rica

#23 Dec 18, 2011
Hansen wrote:
We are from Scandinavia - and we went to Nicaragua for 2 weeks this summer -(father and mother + 3 boys: 19,24,27 years), travelin with taxis and local busses and had the most wonderfull time - and the people we met were so friendly. We can highly recommend everyone to visit Nicaragua.
In Costa Rica we met a lot of americans, who told us, that Nicaragua was really dangerous - and we asked: Have You been there?- and there answer were: NO. We asked: So how do You Know? They said: thats what we are told back in USA.
True...American tourists in Costa Rica may have gotten tainted news about Nicaragua from American media reports that sometimes portray Nicaragua in a bad light.
But if you were talking to ex-pat Americans who are actually living in Costa Rica they probably got their views from the local Costa Rican media. There is a very serious bias in the news and the culture here against Nicaraguans and their government. They do have a border dispute going on. And Costa Rica receives a flood of Nica economic refugees who arrive virtually penniless and yes, barefoot, at times. If Nicas are in the news at all--it's all bad news.
Ticos do tend to view Nicas as unfortunate beggars, at best, and sometimes just common thieves and violent machos. This is no excuse for prejudice but at least you know how it gets spread around--because the only news about Nicaraguans in the local media routinely involve robberies, murders, acts of passion or violence. Or political intrigues with their old nemesis, Danny Ortega.
You almost never hear a kind word about Nicas in the press in my 15 years of experience down here.
By the way, 5 grown Nordic adults--including 4 males--would be a rather intimidating group for most small time thieves of opportunity. I'm not sure your touching story actually disproves that there is real street crime anywhere in Central America. You seem to travel as a pack of blonde beasts that would give Dolph Lundgren pause--in his prime.
Your experience might have been very different if you had been a small group of senior citizens or had been, say, slightly intoxicated? I find people who have the most trouble in Central America are the people who appear most vulnerable to it. They catch the eye of wouldbe thieves.
Some people just ask for it: By flashing a lot of cash or fancy jewelry in public...You'll draw trouble almost anywhere in the world nowadays if you don't use common sense. Or what we call street smarts, back home.
Personally, I've never had a problem. But my Nica wife has been robbed 3 times--twice by Nicas--down here in CR in the last 4 years--does that count?
Kathy

Kansas City, KS

#25 Jan 15, 2012
We would like any comments on areas of to live in Nicaragua. We are senior citizens and would like to retire in a safe place with people our own age. We are not wealthy so we would be looking for moderate costs of rental housing and also close to good medical facilities. My husband and I would like to continue to work part time, any thoughts or ideas about employment?
qte

San Antonio, TX

#26 Jan 15, 2012
hqer
tonto

Reno, NV

#27 Feb 25, 2012
If I understand correctly; You want/need a safe place with good neighbors of your age,on a budget, and want to work part time earning Cordobas? This puts you in Managua (the ONLY somewhat decent medical attention in the country) where you will not find relatively safe housing without living in an upscale neighborhood and paying for home protection- a must. I would recommend La Fontaine or a fully gated community. If you are not starting your own business- good luck. To work in Nicaragua, unless for a foreign company which would clearly not be part time, would be fruitless. Volunteering in a school would be a better thing. The pay would simply not be worth the effort other than to keep you occupied. Whatever you may hear to the contrary, Nicaragua is simply not a safe place... by any measure. From traffic accidents, home invasions, lack of adequate medical services, gang-bangers and coked out surfer/sex tourists, you've got a recipe for some real fun! Come for the adventure... but don't expect the medical benefits. I would continue your search if you don't want to be penned up in an expensive gated community. You could do that anywhere...
Just my two cordobas but I lived there for years. I would not decide without first going to Asia for a nice little vacation... just to check it out. MUCH SAFER! Excellent medical attention near nice easy places to live and they value life a bit more than the western world. take your time and choose wisely!
Roger

Parkersburg, WV

#29 Mar 6, 2012
Met Latino girl on e harmony grew up in Nicaragua came on real strong with promises of marriege all the con dating signs visited her in Miami twice met whole family she was winning my confidence was hinting about taking her on expensive vacations she needed operation all the classic con games kept wanting me to fly to Nicaragua to visit family but wanted me to fly directly their to meet her their even met her aunt that was visiting from nicaruaga she only spoke Spanish Tina told me she said welcome to the family she told her uncle was a cab driver pretty sure was being set up to be iubducted for random told my mother had money luckily didn't have money to fly their then she quit telling me she lived me pretty scary I might of been killed
Go Blue

West Palm Beach, FL

#30 Mar 17, 2012
Has anyone on here, ever found a former spanish colony, that isn't corrupt, overpopulated and poor as anything?....i have been lucky enough, to have seen much of the world, and just never seen that.....
Dana

Stow, OH

#31 Apr 16, 2012
Been there 16 times and only had a problem once, but no big deal, we do mission work in Siete Sur south of Managua and know all the gangs there, they respect us and the work we do for there familys and friends who have nothing as far as material possesions, but are great poeple and very thankful for what we do there !as far as taxis we know and always use the same guys, have there cell phone numbers and is the best way to get around... be smart and you should be OK.
hi there

Apo, AE

#32 Apr 29, 2012
hi there
not buying it

Morristown, TN

#33 Jun 14, 2012
Joannes wrote:
<quoted text>
Your are not good informed. I am from Europe and live 2 years in Nicaragua now. I feel here more save as in New-York. Also international statistics say the same, Nicaragua is after Canada the safest place to be.
"With 450 miles of coastline, charming Spanish colonial towns, a cost of living up to 60% less than in the U.S. and a good reputation for safety; it's an exotic Florida on the cheap." FORBES
Sorry, but I've travelled to Europe several times and no one in Europe types as though they're native to Central America. You're not from Europe at all, you're a native of Nicaragua trying to make people believe you're not. Try learning proper English (as they do in Europe) and then come back to topix and you might fool a few of us. Until then, please stop making things up and lying to people.
not buying it

Morristown, TN

#34 Jun 14, 2012
tonto wrote:
If I understand correctly; You want/need a safe place with good neighbors of your age,on a budget, and want to work part time earning Cordobas? This puts you in Managua (the ONLY somewhat decent medical attention in the country) where you will not find relatively safe housing without living in an upscale neighborhood and paying for home protection- a must. I would recommend La Fontaine or a fully gated community. If you are not starting your own business- good luck. To work in Nicaragua, unless for a foreign company which would clearly not be part time, would be fruitless. Volunteering in a school would be a better thing. The pay would simply not be worth the effort other than to keep you occupied. Whatever you may hear to the contrary, Nicaragua is simply not a safe place... by any measure. From traffic accidents, home invasions, lack of adequate medical services, gang-bangers and coked out surfer/sex tourists, you've got a recipe for some real fun! Come for the adventure... but don't expect the medical benefits. I would continue your search if you don't want to be penned up in an expensive gated community. You could do that anywhere...
Just my two cordobas but I lived there for years. I would not decide without first going to Asia for a nice little vacation... just to check it out. MUCH SAFER! Excellent medical attention near nice easy places to live and they value life a bit more than the western world. take your time and choose wisely!
Tonto, you sound like you truly know what's really going on down there. I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give me regarding a "move" to Nica. Are there "ANY" safe cities to live in, where you would feel comfortable leaving your wife and kids at home? Is the US Homeland Security website wrong about the taxi robberies, kidnappings etc? We do not do drugs nor are we into pedophilia whatsoever, so would we personally have problems there out of random attacks?
TravelExplosion- dot-com

Bronx, NY

#35 Jun 15, 2012
If you've never been to Nicaragua, I encourage you to visit the Travel Explosion website and see the beauty this country has to offer.
brinniewales

Managua, Nicaragua

#36 Jun 28, 2012
LMM1968 wrote:
My aunt and uncle are working in Managua for the time being. The first month they got there,they took a shuttle cab to see some of the country. While taking pictures of a volcano,they were robbed and roughed up. As far as their life in Managua, they are living with bars and wire surrounding their house for protection and if they are lucky, they may even receive the mail that was sent to them. Which that as well has been stolen from them at times along with the mailbox. This may be a beautiful country, but as far as safety, I'm not so sure I will ever visit myself.
Crime in the home depends on where your relatives are living, how open they are with their perceived 'wealth' and how security conscious they are. They are living in the second poorest country in the hemisphere. Having bars on the windows is normal and much of the iron work is quite beautiful in Nicaragua, with neighbors trying to outdo each other with artistic designs. Razor wire is meant to discourage unscrupulous people (thieves) and is used in many countries, including those of North America.
As with any country, including those in North America and Europe, use your head when traveling, either as a resident or a tourist. You wouldn't accept a ride from a stranger at home or flaunt your money openly in a store or on the street at home so why do it in another country?
Nicaragua has a very low crime rate. There are several web sites that describe the types of crimes committed as well as the rate of occurrence. Do some research,be amazed and then visit Nicaragua. All of Nicaragua, not just Managua.
tonto

United States

#37 Jul 12, 2012
-Not buying it- Sorry, I cannot recommend a move there. My experiences were mine alone but not uncommon. I have since gone back to Asia and although they have their own kooky ways, I can honestly say I feel safe again. In fact, when i leave to work on other continents including the U.S. Canada and Europe I feel relieved to get back to Asia where- after 15 years of experience there without issue... I am safe.

If you look for trouble in Asia you surely will find it. If you don't, you'll be just fine. The food is better, the culture is non-confrontational and even though you will always be a gringo/farang/guilou.... they are respectful and value life much more.

Happy and safe again away from Judeo/Christian "values".
Phil

Belmont, MA

#38 Jul 13, 2012
First of all, a question: Tonto, I get that you are a hater - specifically on all things Nicaraguan - but are you in Managua as your first hater-post states or Breckenridge, CO as your latter hate-filled post suggests? Make up your mind pal!
In the past 3 weeks, I have been in three major US cities, two major international cities (one being Managua), and three countries. While I prefer to be on Nica's Pacific coast vs in Managua, I felt safest in Nicaragua vs. the US cities or Canada (no disrespect intended to my countrymen or neighbors). Just use common sense - if you wouldn't do it at home, why would you do it in a foreign land you are unfamiliar with? And if you put yourself in less than safe or reliable circumstances (anywhere in the world), why should it be a surprise if something bad happens?
Nica is the #1 Affordable Retirement Destination in the WORLD (US News & World Report) for a reason. Don't be ignorant or a hater until you have given it a reasonable chance - or just stay at home - but don't be unreasonable!
Non-hater

Saanichton, Canada

#39 Jul 13, 2012
not buying it wrote:
<quoted text>
Tonto, you sound like you truly know what's really going on down there. I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give me regarding a "move" to Nica. Are there "ANY" safe cities to live in, where you would feel comfortable leaving your wife and kids at home? Is the US Homeland Security website wrong about the taxi robberies, kidnappings etc? We do not do drugs nor are we into pedophilia whatsoever, so would we personally have problems there out of random attacks?
"Not Buying It", you're not really going to take advice from anger-management course drop-out Tonto are you? It amazes me that this conversation is even taking place. A back alley in the worst part of Managua being surrounded by the worst gang of taxi drivers you can muster up is about 1000 times safer than almost any city park in the USA. And that's not just my opinion, that is statistics. How any American could be afraid to go to the second safest country in the America's when they live in one of the least safe just boggles my mind.

I've been living and traveling to Nicaragua and doing business there for 6 years without a single issue. I take taxi's all the time at all times of night in all areas of all cities from Managua to Leon, from Granada to Chinandega to Esteli and never had anything but one cabbie ask for an extra dollar because the ride was longer than he had anticipated. I've even had taxi drivers drive 50 miles to bring me an extra key when I lost my rental car one and only charge me a few dollars to do it. Yes, I'm sure there are bad people in Nicaragua, but by nature they are very good people who care deeply about families and children and not only has my wife stayed on her own, my 19 year old daughter has traveled for months alone in buses (I wouldn't have let her do that in the USA) and my 18 year old daughter is going to work down there for the next few months on her own.

Tonto, you obviously had a bad experience. Maybe some young Nica girl didn't succumb to your every wish as you were told would happen and now you are bitter. But please, if you have nothing nice to say about something you clearly know nothing about, please keep it to yourself. You may have lived there, although I question that since you didn't even get the neighborhood name right, but you clearly are a bitter person who will turn on Asia soon enough too.

And "Not-Buying-It", not all Europeans speak English as their first language so it's very likely that the person you are accusing of trying to trick everyone is indeed European. But since you are asking Tonto for advice it shouldn't surprise me that you are naive to anything outside your small borders. Or maybe you and Tonto are the same person, that would make more sense.
TravelExplosion- Dot-Com

Bronx, NY

#40 Aug 24, 2012
It's not until I visited the Travel Explosion website did I realize the beauty that Nicaragua has to offer!
Yazmin

Managua, Nicaragua

#41 Sep 23, 2012
Robin wrote:
I was looking to buy property in Nicaragua. I had hear it is trying to change it's image. It's a poor country and needs the tours income. But reading the new report shows me that I need to take my dollars else where!! Nicaragua is not safe!!
Hi there, just so you know nicaragua is still considered the safest country in all of central america. look it up and you will see. no place in the world is completely safe anyway. i have livaed here and still feel safer than where i use to live. your u.s. dollars will still get a lot here.
Bang Songap

Bangkok, Thailand

#42 Oct 4, 2012
Non-hater: READ BEFORE SPOUTING. when you get on this site the mail is delivered from where you are at the moment. If one travels around the world for work the address will come from there.
Safer than the U.S.? probably but that is not a good measure of safety. the U.S. is probably the most dodgy nation in the world on the street.
Small borders? you say this from white bred Baywood Bay, Canada? Ma meuan hia mai suay.

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