New tourist protections no deterrent?

March 14th, 2007

The new bills signed into law recently may not be the deterrent the government hoped as two foreigners were robbed last night. The separate incidents, likely related, involved kidnapping a Chilean and an Argentine from Lima’s Costa Verde.

The Chilean, Cristian Sulfano (38), was was held at gunpoint for 3 hours while forced to withdraw all that he could from his bank account at various ATM machines over that time. He was released unharmed.

The Argentine woman, who had just arrived in Lima and was being driven to her hotel in a taxi hailed from Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport, had her taxi stopped by armed men who abducted her. Police suspect the taxi driver’s involvement as he couldn’t tell a straight story.

It’s often not a good idea to hail a taxi from the hustle and bustle outside of Lima’s Airport, although cheaper some drivers are involved in robberies and of those who aren’t, many would try to cheat an unsuspecting tourist. Tourist with a pre-booked hotel or hostel have no excuse not to demand they are picked up from the airport, if not already offered that service. Otherwise, take a taxi from the oldest man in the screaming bunch of taxi drivers – It’s likely he was a taxi driver long before the city was swamped with criminals. A taxi full of Catholic paraphernalia such as crosses and pictures of the Virgin Mary does not mean you won’t be robbed by the driver – it just means he’ll have a lot of confessing to do the following day.

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