Final Up to date
Colombia lately grew to become considered one of solely 4 countries on the planet to drop all Covid-19 associated entry necessities which has digital nomads and backpackers flooding again to Medellin. Whereas the town of everlasting spring and inexpensive dwelling is attracting many vacationers, new security considerations have emerged as tourism restarts. We lately spent a month on the bottom in Medellin, Colombia to witness first hand the security within the metropolis. Right here is all the things vacationers must find out about staying secure whereas visiting and the most recent trending crimes which might be concentrating on vacationers.
Whereas Medellin is mostly secure for vacationers when it comes to violent crime, a latest string of armed robberies and petty crimes towards vacationers are occurring as of late 2021.
Present Crime Wave That Is Focused At Vacationers
This isn’t to scare away vacationers however vacationers must know that there’s presently a string of crime that’s immediately affecting vacationers within the metropolis. The pandemic and strict lockdowns in Medellin hit the economic system so exhausting that a lot of the as soon as center class is now again dwelling in poverty.
As a result of pandemic, Colombia now has the best poverty charge in all of Latin American estimated at 45% by the World Financial institution. To place that in perspective, an estimated 18.9 to 23.9 million Colombians have been dwelling off lower than $91 (USD) per 30 days at first of 2021.
The Venezuelan refugee disaster has additionally launched over 1.75 million Venezuelans into Colombia, a lot of whom many are unable to work legally and are additionally dwelling in excessive poverty.
The poverty is resulting in a excessive variety of armed robberies immediately focused on the prosperous and touristic neighborhoods of Poblado and Laureles. These are the 2 most typical areas of Medellin that vacationers keep whereas visiting. Whereas we have been within the metropolis for one month, we first hand knew of 5 armed robberies on vacationers together with 2 company that have been sitting on the patio of the hostel at which we have been staying.
In response to Medellin Advisors, a mean of 6 individuals in Laureles and 5 individuals in El Poblado were robbed per day in 2019. This was earlier than the pandemic hit the economic system exhausting and the variety of robberies are estimated to be a lot increased in vacationers areas as of October 2021.
Different Crimes Focused At Vacationers and Expats
Together with pickpocketing, there’s a way more sinister crime presently being focused at vacationers. Using Scopolamine (satan’s breath) is a drug being utilized in drinks to closely sedate unsuspecting vacationers after which rob them whereas they’re unaware. This crime is normally focused at international males whereas they’re in bars or golf equipment however may even occur in a restaurant. Some perpetrators which have used scopolamine up to now have unintentionally overdosed their sufferer leading to dying.
Scams, Tales And Beggars
Proper now in Medellin’s busy vacationer areas, you may’t stroll greater than half a block with out being requested for cash or being approached for a dialog that can inevitably go away a vacationer with much less money of their pocket. The poverty has result in a excessive variety of road distributors, beggars, hustlers, homeless and pickpockets.
Medellin, Colombia is just not for first time vacationers and guests to the town ought to have a robust understanding of what they should do to be able to keep secure whereas in Latin America.
Whereas Medellin does have its fair proportion of petty crime and armed robberies, violent crimes towards vacationers are uncommon.
Prime 9 Suggestions To Assist Maintain Vacationers Secure Whereas Visiting Medellin
‘No Dar Papaya’ Which interprets to ‘don’t give papaya’ it primarily means to not make your self a goal for crime. Observe these 9 ideas for staying secure in Medellin.
Depart Your Cell Cellphone In Your Pocket or Get a Second Cellphone
The most typical crime towards vacationers in Medellin is cellular phone theft. More often than not the theft will come at gunpoint. Do no take your cellphone out. Don’t take a selfie. Don’t use your cellphone for instructions and don’t go away your cellphone on the desk whereas eating on patios or in eating places. After a number of days you might even see others do it and get tempted, however that is the very definition of constructing your self a goal.
Many expats and long run vacationers in Medellin have a second low-cost cellular phone for when they’re out and about within the metropolis. That manner in case you are robbed, it’s not such an enormous deal to only let it go.
Do Not Combat Again
If you’re robbed, don’t combat again. Don’t give it a second thought and simply hand all the things over. Violence is most certainly to happen throughout a theft when the sufferer refuses to adjust to the robber. One other journey blogger Nomadic Matt was stabbed in Bogotá when he refused handy over his cellular phone.
The Decoy Pockets
Get an inexpensive decoy pockets and put a small amount of cash in it. Then utilizing a hidden RFID wallet, hold your bank card and predominant money secure. When you’re robbed, your pockets and your cellphone would be the predominant targets of the thief who will need to be out of there quick. Be prepared handy over your decoy pockets and low-cost cellular phone. Depart all the things else of worth at your resort within the secure together with secondary bank cards, banks playing cards and your major cellular phone. It’s a greater thought to hold a small amount of cash in and a cellular phone then nothing in any respect. A robber could develop into annoyed and impatient with a vacationer who says they don’t have anything on them.
By no means Depart Your Drink Alone
Be sure to by no means go away your drink alone and even out of your sight for a second. There are numerous tales of foreigners being drugged by girls in Medellin and waking up with completely nothing left. Many of those crimes go unreported as a result of embarrassment of the vacationer. The goal of this crime is normally males. If a girl walks as much as you in a bar and thinks your the most effective factor since sliced bread, it’s not as a result of you’re a attractive gringo. You’re a goal.
Don’t Look Like A Gringo
For guys which might be over 6 ft with blonde hair and blue eyes, this will likely show a little bit tough. This doesn’t imply it’s best to add flip flops, shorts and a tank prime into the combination. There may be nothing that fairly says ‘I’m a vacationer’ like flip flops. The extra you may mix in, the higher off you might be. The most typical outfit for Colombian males is a pair of denims, a t-shirt and sneakers. This isn’t saying you may’t put on what you need however the extra you mix in and the much less your are observed, the higher off you’ll be.
Don’t Go Alone At Evening
This one particularly applies to the women and as soon as once more the commonest crime might be theft. Many solo female travel blogs state Medellin is secure for solo feminine backpackers. Whereas that could be true throughout the day, I didn’t spot one feminine strolling alone at evening. Strolling round by your self after darkish is making your self a goal for petty crime. A feminine strolling alone is more likely to be robbed than one with a gaggle of individuals. For the lads as properly, you’ll be a lot safer in a gaggle then by your self.
Getting wasted in your first few nights in Medellin is a really dangerous thought. Except you might be staying at your individual hostel or going out on an organized pub crawl just like the one run by Los Patios Hostel, your possibilities of one thing dangerous occurring are excessive. Guys most frequently fall prey in golf equipment after a number of too many drinks. Golf equipment are full of native girls that understand how simple it’s to prey on drunk foreigners that aren’t used to the eye. These girls could also be prostitutes and even worse, are on the brink of drug and rob you. Strolling alone at evening whereas intoxicated is simply one other strategy to make your self a simple goal.
Being The Robust Man
Lets simply say the bogans that one sees in Bali gained’t final 5 minutes in Medellin. Tattoo’s, muscular tissues and tank tops don’t intimidate the criminals, gangs or guys with weapons. Present respect for the Colombian tradition, traditions and don’t even take into consideration being the powerful man on the bar. Colombian women and men have grown up figuring out tips on how to survive in powerful situations. Gringos in a Colombian jail or coping with Colombian gangs don’t stand an opportunity.
Depart Your Gold Rings and Lacoste Sneakers At House
Whereas dressing good is a part of the Colombian tradition, dressing wealthy is just not. Nothing says rob me like your Lacoste sneakers, gold jewellery and Rolex. Severely go away the bling at house.
Whereas the Medellin expat community groups could also be a little bit cranky on Fb, they have an inclination to supply some good insights into what’s going on within the metropolis when it comes to crime and scams. Ensure that to keep watch over them earlier than arriving to remain updated on present happenings within the metropolis.
Is Medellin Value The Threat?
Completely! Whereas petty crime and robberies do happen, this rising metropolis has made big strides in turning into safer over the past decade. In the event you use your head and ‘don’t give papaya‘ your prone to have the time of your life. From the very inexpensive value of dwelling, stunning climate and wonderful infrastructure for a stylish nomad life, Medellin is a metropolis with the potential to develop into the following large factor in tourism.
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