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Safety / Protection In South America
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gpb Offline
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Post: #1
Safety / Protection In South America
I hope this doesn't sound too gay, but here goes. I'm heading to Quito (among other places) for a couple weeks, and in doing research have read that theft/mugging can be common. I haven't really been in this situation before. Have any of you who have been to South America carry a knife or pepper spray or something to protect against a mugging?
02-17-2009 03:48 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
Pepper spray sounds like a great idea. I've done lots of martial arts too, though I don't know if I want to risk fighting off a dude with a knife, but pepper spray might be good too. I'm going to look into it for my upcoming trip.
02-17-2009 04:49 PM
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elguapo Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
Use common-sense and you'll be ok
02-21-2009 05:08 AM
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Roosh Offline
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RE: Safety / Protection In South America
Don't flash valuables, but i carry pepper spray in states so i'll probably take it down to south america with me too.

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02-26-2009 01:15 AM
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InternationPlayboy Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
I wouldn't suggest pepper spraying people. According to my friends who grew up in Brazil, here are the best tips....

Don't talk to a random on the streets if he asks you if you know english. Pretty much in general, don't really trust anyone you meet on the streets.

DO NOT try and fight off someone who is robbing you. You never know who has a gun. I would strongly recommend not pepper spraying anyone. If you get robbed, give it all up. No possession or amount of money is worth your life.
02-27-2009 01:40 AM
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InternationPlayboy Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
Oh, and always be aware of your surroundings. Try to stick to main streets at night and try not to travel alone. Try and take taxis as much as possible at night, because in places like Rio, you might be in a nice neighborhood, but just a block away can be a favala.
02-27-2009 01:41 AM
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Roosh Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
The only time i fear being robbed is when i have my pack with me. Otherwise i'm only out a camera and a few bucks, assuming i don't get maimed

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03-04-2009 12:53 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
I just bought some pepper spray for my trip. I look at it this way, it's just one more tool to have on your side. For just a couple bucks, I can't go wrong just carrying it anyway. I've done several years worth of Krav Maga and MMA too so I can handle myself on the street if someone messes with me(assuming there's no gun involved). But the pepper spray might be a quick and easy way to end the situation too.
03-04-2009 04:51 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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RE: Safety / Protection In South America
I almost got robbed a few days ago in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, which is a pretty sleepy gringo-oriented town. I had just got back from my 4 day Bolivia tour. I didn't have any accommodations for the night and didn't want to go back to the hostel I was at before as I hated it. I debated whether I would do it, but I sat on a bench on what felt like a safe street and took out my mini netbook computer, jumped on a hotspot and started searching for accommodations online. From where I was, I had a pretty good view of who was coming down the street toward me, and behind me was a long wall. A few minutes pass and I see 4 dudes walking in my direction. They seemed like they were planning something the way they were looking my direction and talking to each other. 2 started walking up toward the bench around me and one came around to the front. At that point, I had thrown the computer in my large sack, zipped it and stood up to confront the threat with a mean mug on my face. My backpack weights a lot so there's no way one of them could've grabbed it and ran off faster than the speed of a turtle. At this point, they all turned around and walked away together back the street in the same direction they had came. I had the feeling someone tipped them off and said there's a dumb gringo using his computer around the corner, go and jack him. They chickened out at the last minute. I had the safety switch off on my pepper spray to blind the guys behind me and was ready to throw a roundhouse kick to the head of the guy in front me.
03-30-2009 02:53 PM
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Roosh Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
Quote:took out my mini netbook computer

Taking out your laptop outside in the dark in south america while your pack is nearby is a very bad idea.

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03-30-2009 07:58 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
(03-30-2009 07:58 PM)Roosh Wrote:  
Quote:took out my mini netbook computer

Taking out your laptop outside in the dark in south america while your pack is nearby is a very bad idea.

Actually this was in the middle of the day. I wouldn't have did it at night, no way. Probably not even in a major US city either.

I take security pretty seriously and I weighed out the threat of jumping online for a few minutes to search for a room vs walking around with a heavy backpack in the hot desert sun looking for vacancies. I figure it was a quiet street in a town with more gringos than natives so the threat should be pretty low. Guess I was wrong.
03-30-2009 08:36 PM
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Roosh Offline
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RE: Safety / Protection In South America
My bad I thought it was at night. Still though, I wouldn't even do that in d.c., but maybe i'm just paranoid.

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03-31-2009 01:16 AM
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College Game Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
(03-31-2009 01:16 AM)Roosh Wrote:  My bad I thought it was at night. Still though, I wouldn't even do that in d.c., but maybe i'm just paranoid.

Common sense for all situations, but be particularly vigilant in regards to cabbies. The only times I have been robbed / fucked over in Latin America has been from, or in relation to cabs.
03-31-2009 11:29 PM
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El Viajero Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
(03-31-2009 11:29 PM)College Game Wrote:  
(03-31-2009 01:16 AM)Roosh Wrote:  My bad I thought it was at night. Still though, I wouldn't even do that in d.c., but maybe i'm just paranoid.

Common sense for all situations, but be particularly vigilant in regards to cabbies. The only times I have been robbed / caressed over in Latin America has been from, or in relation to cabs.

In that case you ought to pretend to call someone each time you get in the cab and say something like,

"Hi Joe, I just got into a cab, its #88783A and the driver's name is Jose Manuel Thief. I should be there is 15 minutes. Seeya"

If you say something like that in the local language they will be much less likely to try anything.
04-01-2009 11:14 AM
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speakeasy Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
(04-01-2009 11:14 AM)jmb Wrote:  
(03-31-2009 11:29 PM)College Game Wrote:  
(03-31-2009 01:16 AM)Roosh Wrote:  My bad I thought it was at night. Still though, I wouldn't even do that in d.c., but maybe i'm just paranoid.

Common sense for all situations, but be particularly vigilant in regards to cabbies. The only times I have been robbed / caressed over in Latin America has been from, or in relation to cabs.

In that case you ought to pretend to call someone each time you get in the cab and say something like,

"Hi Joe, I just got into a cab, its #88783A and the driver's name is Jose Manuel Thief. I should be there is 15 minutes. Seeya"

If you say something like that in the local language they will be much less likely to try anything.

Or just use the official radio taxi. I think the problem sounds like it's with the unlicensed taxis who may be cheaper but you are paying for it with bigger risk.
04-01-2009 01:47 PM
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elguapo Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
(04-01-2009 11:14 AM)jmb Wrote:  
(03-31-2009 11:29 PM)College Game Wrote:  
(03-31-2009 01:16 AM)Roosh Wrote:  My bad I thought it was at night. Still though, I wouldn't even do that in d.c., but maybe i'm just paranoid.

Common sense for all situations, but be particularly vigilant in regards to cabbies. The only times I have been robbed / caressed over in Latin America has been from, or in relation to cabs.

In that case you ought to pretend to call someone each time you get in the cab and say something like,

"Hi Joe, I just got into a cab, its #88783A and the driver's name is Jose Manuel Thief. I should be there is 15 minutes. Seeya"

If you say something like that in the local language they will be much less likely to try anything.

that could sound a bit like you're overcompensating for your lack of perceived security.

or, better yet, if you feel the situation is a bit shady -- just in engage the driver in a conversation (of course you must speak spanish). Ask him if he had a busy day and tell him how the place changed since you were here last. Tell him you have many friends here, etc.
04-01-2009 03:00 PM
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Roosh Offline
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RE: Safety / Protection In South America
(03-31-2009 11:29 PM)College Game Wrote:  The only times I have been robbed / caressed over in Latin America has been from, or in relation to cabs.

Care to share the stories?

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04-01-2009 04:39 PM
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EZ Travels Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
I was robbed by a cabbie in Buenos Aires.

I was with two girls and we caught a pretty expensive cab across town - 30 pesos. I handed the guy a 50 and turned to collect some money from the girls. When I looked back he was holding an obvious fake 50 peso note.

He looked at me confused and said, "This is a fake bill." I stared at him blankly for a second. Then, like a dumb shit, I took back the fake bill and paid him with smaller bills.

I didn't realize it was a scam until my Argentine friends told me later. He made about 80 pesos off of us.
04-01-2009 09:40 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
I'm now in Argentina as of today so feel free to share whatever the most common scams are.
04-02-2009 08:37 PM
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elguapo Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
Argentina is one of the safest countries in S.A. If not the safest.

The only issue I had is taxi turned off his meter wanted to charge me fixed price to airport (80 pesos). That was less than what I paid getting into city so I was fine with it. Otherwise no issues at all.
04-03-2009 09:09 AM
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EZ Travels Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
(04-02-2009 08:37 PM)speakeasy Wrote:  I'm now in Argentina as of today so feel free to share whatever the most common scams are.

Just keep your eyes on the cab driver when you hand him your money.

If you're paranoid enough too, you can write down the last few digits of 100 peso bills when you hand it to a waiter so he doesn't try to pull a fake bill switch on you. Never happened to me, but I've heard it from others.
04-03-2009 12:12 PM
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College Game Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
Lima and Trujillo Peru. Got fucked over twice so did my friends.
In Trujillo cabs are deep into the organized crime in the big barrios around the city. You can see the gang signs in the back of the window but to a gringo it just looks like a stupid sticker, like the random ones that say "Baywatch" or "Sports 108 Pro" FYI, the sticker is a spider.
Stories
1) Drunk off my ass, i mean right fucked out of the disco, alone, trying to haggle and barter cab fares. Young guys come up to me, 20 somethings, put their arms around me, one on each side, telling me its ok and giving me an unbeleiveably cheap price. Walking, I ask for their ID's or cards, and they laugh. I stiffen up, they grab my jacket, I elbow the dude break free and run away. Kidnapping, common shit, and not a myth. Later I remembered seeing a spider sticker in the window, one of the big gangs/drug cartels in Northern Peru.
2) Californian girl I was living with there was taking a long taxi in from Salaverry to Trujillo, would't drop her off at our place and dropped her off in a dodgey ass part of town. She got robbed, straight up, two dudes grab and run and a punch in the face. She was pretty spooked after that.
3) Came out of a movie late by myself, see some dudes hanging out a block down, walked the other way, a cab flashed his headlights as I walked past, so I stopped and looked at him and he gave me a stone look like what do you want, so I turned and realized that he had signalled to the dudes who were hanging out about a block down. They were making for me an I booked it like Usain Bolt.

Maybe I have bad luck, or just a dumb gringo traveller, I do tend to get cocky with regards to shit like this in the developing world as I usually work / live in poorer areas.
04-06-2009 01:22 AM
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College Game Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
man, can you enable the word F_CK please, I dont like how I keep getting "caressed over" or "caressed by cabbies"
04-06-2009 01:24 AM
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Roosh Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
You don't find it humorous?

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04-06-2009 04:39 PM
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College Game Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Safety / Protection In South America
(04-06-2009 04:39 PM)Roosh Wrote:  You don't find it humorous?

I do. I didn't realize it at first, and then I read it over and I had to look twice. I thought I had some sort of deep repressed Lacanian / Freudian outburst where I had been caressed by cabbies in South America.
04-06-2009 09:30 PM
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