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1 - 14 of 14 Comments Last updated Mar 6, 2014
Jonathan Poston

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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#1
Oct 31, 2008
 
Since ive been living here in guayaquil ecuador many of the foreigners and some ecuadorians have been robbed, beaten, kidnapped etc. They have been drugged and pistol whipped. My friend (a teacher) was robbed for the second time two nights again walking home just off the bus near his house. Although he fought back (which many say is inadvisable) they still beat him in the head with their guns and stole his laptop (cheap one since it was a replacement from the last he bought) and cell phone.

This is becoming very common here and everyone I'm talking to has a story. Another guy I work with was drugged and woke with nothing trying to find his way home after they got him

Another friend (ecuadorian) was robbed at his house three weeks ago. They poisoned his dogs, beat him and tied him to his bed and took everything he had in the middle of the night.

Its not just one or two people so you cant just fight back or buy a gun for protection...its very organized and they come with superior gun power.

My students come in with stories all the time about friends being kidnapped and frequent car jackings.

Jonathan Poston
www.sainttroy.com
Meg

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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#2
Nov 7, 2008
 
I am an American living in Guayaquil and I have not had a SINGLE problem with crime or violence, nor do I know anyone who has. I'm not saying that it can't happen, but I think that if you are careful and use some common sense you can avoid it.
Ghost

Swanton, VT

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#3
May 4, 2009
 
Meg do you still live in Ecuador
rkw

Towson, MD

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#4
May 7, 2009
 
I have traveled to Ecuador for the last 5 yrs-every summer for 3-4 weeks at a time and never encountered any problems until travelling to LOJA/Vilcabamba Ecuador. We speak Spanish and have family in Ecuador. Beware of bus drivers and their assistant working with locals in LOJA to steal your stuff-distract you-and make off with all your valuables. Do not check any bags with the bus driver or assistant-keep your belongings on your lap and your cash/passport on your person underneath your clothing. Do not fall for the distraction when a local drops something-you turn to look-and their partner in crime grabs your stuff. In my case, the distraction didn't work, but the bus driver's asst gave my bag away-and he disappeared also-unlike the USA, the bus companies have no liability to you---the day before, a German lost everything to these thieves. ITS A MAJOR PROBLEM IN LOJA/Vilcabamba AND ITS BEING COVERED UP-they are trying to build tourism, yet they know the bus drivers and their asst are working with the thieves. If arriving in LOJA and transferring to the local bus to take you to Vilcabamba beware!! It's tough to stay vigilant when you have to watch the drivers and their asst as well.
vincess

Milton Keynes, UK

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#5
Jun 7, 2011
 
Hey. I notice these are old posts but 2 nights ago, my friend, a German was drugged and robbed at the hotel where he is staying by two women who knocked on his door to ask for map of the city.
They were eating a fruit and offered his a piece. He ate the fruit and that was it. They took his money but left everything else. Do you think they will come after him again - they did not take his card?

Since: Jan 10

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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#6
Jun 7, 2011
 
While this is an old posting, express kidnappings are up again. The thieves are also doing something new. At the stop lights now, they come up to a car and take what they can from any driver or passenger and then run off.

The government is begun installing cameras at the traffic lights to catch people who run the lights, but the side benefit is to capture these thieves. On most of the video shown so far they are mostly very young children or teens, with some adults.

Buses are one of the biggest problems, especially the local buses. I have taken the luxury buses many times and have had no issues with the drivers or their assistants. But since there are many thieves, its more pot luck on if they get you or not.
Ecuachet

Quito, Ecuador

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#7
Jun 14, 2011
 
I got back to Quito about a month ago after 10 months in the States. Third day back my old Vitara was stolen from in front of my wife's business. Good thing is, the insurance is going to give me close to what I paid for the car 3 years ago. I have never been directly confronted, but I've had a laptop taken from my office, lost a wallet to a pick-pocket on a city bus, had a bag with cash taken (on a city bus), stuff like that. I taught for a while at The Fulbright Commission in Quito, and many of the students and professionals I worked with had been robbed at gun-point multiple times. Problem is, they're travelling by bus and foot and live in town, where most of those robberies take place. The neighborhood I live in is well guarded and there has been only two break-ins during the 5 years I've lived here. That's a considerably better statistic than the fancy neighborhood my sister lives in in the US. Also, the 10 months I just spent in a small city in Georgia saw more murders and car-jackings than Quito saw in the same time period. It's all relative. Just don't put yourself in harms-way and remain aware of what's going on around you. And, don't accept fruit from girls knocking unannounced on your hotel room door! Duh!!
lkoi

Rockville, MD

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#9
Jun 24, 2011
 
kojou
Ecuavet

Rockville, MD

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#10
Jun 24, 2011
 
I have visited Ecuador many times over the last twenty years. I also lived there on and off during that time.

At various times I have been approached by pairs of young pretty young ladies offering to act as tour guides or take me to a great party. For all I know they were working with an organ-stealing gang. Is it worth losing your kidneys or your life over a good time?

My recommendation is that you ought to consider whether or not a certain behavior is "normal" for Ecuador. Two girls coming to my front door for a map of the city is not normal. I would have sent them packing ... and not eaten any fruit. Another basic rule is NOT to eat food unless you know it is clean or well cooked. The unfortunate German guy broke a couple of rules.
Culture Shock

Quito, Ecuador

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#11
Jul 6, 2011
 
We are from the States and have been living in Quito for over a year and had visited many times in the past.

We had no problems until a few months ago when I was robbed at gunpoint by 4 guys. They had two 9mm guns. My sister and brother in law were parked on a side street at 9pm and I was loading my backpack into the back of the SUV when one of thieves tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around to have a gun pointed at my chest. I started screaming and my husband (who was inside) came running out to my rescue. One of them fired the gun above my head and my husband ducked and fell, resulting in a broken wrist, broken nose and torn ligaments in his knee. They hit me on the head with my backpack and ran off.

Then just 2 weeks later my sister and her husband were robbed in a similar manner. Needless to say we've all gone through stages of post traumatic shock and my husband has had a long time in recovery.

At least we are all much more aware of our surroundings now! We have noticed in the past few weeks there has been a huge military presence. Many military men in backs of trucks driving around the city. Rumor has it that they are trying to get a handle on the crime problem so tourists will keep coming. I heard that about 15 years ago the president gave the okay to kill thieves and that solved the problem for a while.

A friend was drugged on bus when the man behind him touched his face. They stole everything on his person and even got the driver to give them his bags from underneath the bus.

Two of our friends had just left the movie theater when some guys came up and put machetes to their throats to rob them!

Most people I talk to here have been robbed and most at gunpoint.

I do agree that there are many violent crimes in the states also. There are certain areas there that I would never sit in a parked car. We need to be more vigilant and never assume things are safe.
Galicho

Littleton, CO

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#12
Sep 17, 2012
 
I lived in Ecuador for more than 2 years. About half of that time was in Guayaquil. As you may know, Guayaquil is supposedly (it is statistically backed up) the most dangerous city. During the whole time there, nobody even looked at me funny, let alone attempted to "victimize" me.

Ironically, the only time I even had an incident was when I had to go the the Registro Civil in Quito. I was staying in a in the Mariscal (a tourist area, unlike my residence in Guayaquil) for a week. That Sunday morning I was hungry so I walked to a panadería (the only place with morning hours on a Sunday) to get some pastries. As I was was leaving the panadería I crossed the street but I abruptly changed my mind and crossed the street again since I wanted go get some more for later. And guess what... a guy on the other side of the street did the exact same change of route that I did. It was blatantly obvious that he was following me. Upon seeing this, I waited at the light and recrossed the same street. On the other side he does the exact same thing. I think he wasn´t all there mentally.. By his dress and appearance, it was obvious that he could not afford a firearm. To be frank, I look like a criminal myself- just way better dressed, and I can afford a firearm. I mean, I did not want to end up in a Ecuadoran Jail, but I did not want to end up dead up either because of this idiot. Given the totality of the circumstances, as he followed me, I decided that my best interests were in letting this guy follow me to an area where there were no witnesses, and upon his robbery attempt I would promptly abbreviate his life, then go to Colombia, and fly back to the States. I did feel tense and clumsy, but I made up my mind and I refused to second guess my decision.

The story, however, had a happy ending. I found that place with no witnesses -and he followed me all the way there-, I stopped, and I waited for him to do what he came to do. However, perhaps he had a premonition, or maybe he caught on that my behavior was "inconsistant" with his victim model, but he just stopped when I stopped, stood and looked at me for a few moments, then turned around and walked away. A very fortunate decision for us both...
Dean

Quito, Ecuador

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#13
Oct 4, 2012
 
Galicho wrote:
I lived in Ecuador for more than 2 years. About half of that time was in Guayaquil. As you may know, Guayaquil is supposedly (it is statistically backed up) the most dangerous city. During the whole time there, nobody even looked at me funny, let alone attempted to "victimize" me.
Ironically, the only time I even had an incident was when I had to go the the Registro Civil in Quito. I was staying in a in the Mariscal (a tourist area, unlike my residence in Guayaquil) for a week. That Sunday morning I was hungry so I walked to a panadería (the only place with morning hours on a Sunday) to get some pastries. As I was was leaving the panadería I crossed the street but I abruptly changed my mind and crossed the street again since I wanted go get some more for later. And guess what... a guy on the other side of the street did the exact same change of route that I did. It was blatantly obvious that he was following me. Upon seeing this, I waited at the light and recrossed the same street. On the other side he does the exact same thing. I think he wasn´t all there mentally.. By his dress and appearance, it was obvious that he could not afford a firearm. To be frank, I look like a criminal myself- just way better dressed, and I can afford a firearm. I mean, I did not want to end up in a Ecuadoran Jail, but I did not want to end up dead up either because of this idiot. Given the totality of the circumstances, as he followed me, I decided that my best interests were in letting this guy follow me to an area where there were no witnesses, and upon his robbery attempt I would promptly abbreviate his life, then go to Colombia, and fly back to the States. I did feel tense and clumsy, but I made up my mind and I refused to second guess my decision.
The story, however, had a happy ending. I found that place with no witnesses -and he followed me all the way there-, I stopped, and I waited for him to do what he came to do. However, perhaps he had a premonition, or maybe he caught on that my behavior was "inconsistant" with his victim model, but he just stopped when I stopped, stood and looked at me for a few moments, then turned around and walked away. A very fortunate decision for us both...
Your story has a happy ending. I have lived here for over ten years and never take anything for granted. The poorest of thieves can get access to a firearm.
Cherokee Empire

Kings Mountain, NC

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#14
Mar 6, 2014
 
Crime can happen anywhere. We know. So, one must be prepared for crime. Good things happen too. Let's move on to good times.
cherokeeempire.bravavehost.com
Cherokee Empire

Kings Mountain, NC

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#15
Mar 6, 2014
 

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