Even though 99.999% of the hispanic population are awesome and very welcoming, cycle tourists can unfortunately be robbed in Latin America on rare occasions. Not wanting to scare people in anyway I merely offer a place where information can be shared about known relevant incidents that have occurred in specific locations so people can take some precautions when passing through a likely hotspot. These are areas in which a specific incident has actually occurred where a cycle tourist or backpacker has been robbed or attacked by force (e.g. gun or knifepoint) or an area that is very well known for its delinquency. There’s a good chance that these incidents are carried out repeatedly by locals (although not always obviously) so knowing where this has happened could be useful.
This is somewhat of an experiment at this stage; perhaps there are too many incidents for it to be practical. Feedback would be appreciated. If you know of a specific incident that has happened please let me know the location, roughly when and a brief summary of what happened. Also note that it probably looks worse than it is because the icons are so big!
Logical precautions one can take in known hotspots (some quite obvious):
– Avoid camping, or if you must camp do it on someone’s land with their permission out of sight from the road
– Get off the road early (e.g. before 3.30pm)
– Get a police escort (assuming you can trust the police!)
– Ask locals for advice (an older Señora may be a safer bet than a young man with a motorbike), be vague about where you’re going.
– Don’t get out anything of value (phones, cameras etc).
– Don’t hang about, keep going; particularly in isolated areas.
– Any other ideas?… please comment below.