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Katharina & Peter

Safety Guidelines

Safety Guidelines for Backpackers

Safety precautions against bankcard robbery and being kidnapped:

Common travel guides for the community of the backpackers understate the issue of personal safety. Dedication for terrific scenery and foreign cultures may seduce to trifle or even blind out blatant poverty and growing organized crime in the countries of Latin America. Safety issues may be considered “uncool”: the fearful should stay at home in the first place.

It is a fact though, that most backpackers plan their trip very carefully and thoroughly, they collect a lot of information. Usually they are by far better prepared for their stay in the country of their destination than most other tourist groups. No backpacker will easily be scared off from visiting the country s/he wants – yet none of them would unduly put himself/herself in danger.

Tourist-Kidnappings with bankcard robbery and pin-code extortion have grown into a profitable „business” for organised crime in many countries. A gang can make a „turnover“ of 50.000 to 70.000 USD a month. The following safety guidelines are meant to protect yourself against bankcard-kidnapping in its two manifestations: longterm-kidnapping and express kidnapping. In longterm-kidnapping, you are abducted and held captive, until your bank account is emptied; often ransom money is asked for in addition. In express kidnapping they coerce you to hand out your bankcard and pin-code, and – usually after some hours – set you free in some remote place; they take money off your account until the card is blocked.
  • If you plan to travel to a country with an increased safety issue (kidnapping, robbery, tourists scams) keep yourself actively informed about the safety situation before and during your stay. Consider that crime rates in the countries of Latin America have reached alarming levels – even if there are no special warnings by official side nor increased public attention for this.
  • Traveller checks are a safe alternative to electronic money; they can only be cashed in with your identity card and your signature. In case of theft, you get refunded (send your receipt back home after transaction).
  • The daily withdrawal limits for bankcards are tailored to European income levels; they may represent a very high sum of money in many third world countries. In Bolivia, for example, the daily withdrawal limit of 400 EUR corresponds to an average half-year income. That, in turn, would correspond to 12.000 EUR in Austria.
  • If you travel with electronic money, withdraw your money from the ATMs inside bank-offices, whenever that is possible. If you have to use publicly accessible ATMs, only choose those in highly frequented places, only go there during daylight hours.
  • Inquire with your home bank before you leave whether it is advisable to reduce your individual daily limits for your bankcard. This may help to reduce your risk for a longterm-kidnapping.
  • Take care never to have all the money for your trip on the account your bankcard draws from. Organized criminals can easily find out how much money you have on your account and thus spy you out as a potential victim for a longterm-kidnapping. As a criterion, never put more money on your travel account than would leave you inconspicuous in a low-income-country. Keep in contact with a friend at home who follows your account movements and refills your account after checking per sms or email.
  • Also adapt the scope for your account overdrawal. Here again, a high limit may define you as a potential prey for longterm kidnapping.
  • Prepay cards may have the advantage that there is no connection to your regular bank account; they can also be reloaded by someone back home. Again, it is crucial to set the limit to correspond with local income levels.
  • Do not take our assumptions about a ‘normal’ civil society and a law based state for granted. On the contrary, do assume that organised criminals have numerous collaborators in hostels and bank offices who can easily find out whether you are a lucrative prey for kidnapping. In that case, you will be systematically monitored and purposefully lead into the arms of the kidnappers.
  • Safety guidelines issued by banks - such as „Never take notes of your PIN code. Take care so that nobody can spy out your pin code.” – may help you to protect yourself against frauds at home. In the case of kidnapping, you are coerced to give away your pin-code with brute force. No criminal will search for your notes. In mortal fear, every human will give away her/his PIN code – and that is the sensible thing to do then.
  • Even if you take all the personal precautions possible, not to qualify as a victim for a longterm-kidnapping, you may easily become victim of one of the abundant express kidnappings. Because of years of experience, the criminals have good reason to assume that almost everybody who carries a rucksack will also carry a bankcard on him/her. The criminals also have all evidence to assume that every bankcard will quickly and with no personal risk to themselves give access to an unbelievable flow of money. To the criminals, backpack tourists are, by definition, very, very wealthy.
  • Be vigilant and cautious: every kidnapping is preceded by a sequence of cooperative interactions between the offenders and the victim. The criminals make ingenious efforts to win your cooperation: false policemen stopping you to see your documents, friendly people, stopping you to ask the way, taxis that drive next to you and offer low fares …
  • A taxi may be a fake taxi. -Some safety hints for dealing with taxis at overland bus stops:
- never enter a taxi that has not been stopped or organised by yourself,
- never enter a taxi with another passenger in it already,
- never share a taxi with a person you have only just become acquainted with,
- always choose / order a licensed taxi, even if they are more expensive,
- sit on the back seat.
  • Policemen may be fake policemen. False policemen in false uniforms with false badges or ID documents pretend to search you for drugs, check your identity card, bankcards and valuables to make sure, they are not stolen … Real policemen hardly ever do these things in the streets unless you have given them due cause for action.
  • In an express-kidnapping, there are usually several players involved – for example a fake backpacker (who speaks the native language) who apparently does carry drugs on him, so that all of you can be taken to a fake police station. For a kidnapping to start on its course, the criminals must succeed in 2 things: they must bluff you and they must make you move along with them.
  • Don’t be fooled, don’t cooperate, pretend you don’t understand, smile, walk on, when they start to talk to you. It may help to get loud and draw other people’s attention on yourself. Don’t enter a taxi, pretend you have to get into the hotel opposite the road first to get your things or to make a phone call first to somebody who is waiting for you … prepare your own story.
  • Once you are sitting in a fake taxi, try to get out or make people outside pay attention to you.
  • When you are in the grip of the criminals, be prepared for their savage behaviour. Don’t be surprised that who looked like nice guys a minute before, suddenly turn out to be brutal goons. They overpower you, chain you up, gag you by sticking tape over your mouth; they deliberately hit and kick into your face, on your head and in your abdomen. Indicate that you understand what this is about and cooperate. Do not show resistance, do not adopt a complaining victim-attitude either. You are faced with criminals who kidnap tourists as a business, cooperate to make your kidnapping a risk- and trouble-free one which looks profitable to them.
  • Having been kidnapped – even in an express kidnapping – will in all likelihood traumatise you. When you have come out without bodily harm you may want to forget about it as soon as possible. Often, there is not much use reporting your experience to the police: the local police probably will not take record of your complaint and the police back home is not in charge. Do report your experience of robbery, kidnapping, coercion to your next diplomatic representative. Pass on your knowledge to relevant backpacker-forums, write to the government of the country involved. Take care that other backpackers are warned and will not suffer from what happened to you …
  • Further information (in german only!): Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Austria (Broschüre „Tipps für Auslandsreisende; http://www.bmaa.gv.at/up-media/1883_tipps_f_r_auslandsreisende_2005.pdf); Europay ( www.europay.at); Arbeiterkammer (http://wien.arbeiterkammer.at/www-397-IP-29790-AD-2807.html, sowie AK Broschüre Reisetipps: http://www.arbeiterkammer.at/www-192-IP-22588.html)

Tips and advice from experienced South America travellers

Fake Police man and other scams

A rerun of common scams in Bolivia
Posted: 09 Apr 2006

This is not meant to scare people away from Bolivia - it is a magnificent country with gorgeous landscape, endless possibilities of adventure, ancient cultures and traditions and great people, but like in any other country there are some rotten apples. If I had the chance I would be back "home" in La Paz in a second and I would recommend anyone else going there. To be informed about the common scams reduces the risk that anything happens to you drastically. These scams are all out there but it is not as if one gets constantly attacked by scam artists. The vast majority of Bolivians are hard working and very honest people. Use common sense, be cautious, know about the scams and you will most likely have a wonderful trip thru this exciting country. The mentioned precautions are useful in lots of other countries in SA (don´t share taxis etc).

Some general precautions
1. get a good rest after you arrive in Bolivia after a long flight - scam artists can almost smell it when some one is drowsy and new in town
2. Even if you get lost act as if you know exactly what you are doing - nothing sticks more out than a gringo with a big Lonely Planet book in his hand and a confused look (rip out or copy the pages in your travel book with maps)
3. don´t put anything of value in your backpack or day pack
4. keep your day pack during bus rides always next to you, don´t put it under your seat or in the compartment above your head
5. keep a close eye on your stuff in public and esp. in bus terminals
6. be very careful with whom you party, don´t get drunk alone
7. A certain amount of distrust never hurts - especially in the Bolivian highlands the society is very reserved and conservative (even more so the indigenous part of the population) - it is absolutely not normal that someone starts a chitchat out of the blue with you without any obvious
reasons or is overly friendly and open - in most such cases a scam is involved or the guy is drunk (or in the best case someone tries to missionate you..)- ditch him /her - Bolivians are very friendly people if you get to know them closer, but it takes a while till the ice is broken
8. Be always aware what´s going on around you - and esp. behind you
9. and leave the "backpacker clothes" in "screamy colors" like orange, yellow etc at home - anyone can spot you in 200 m distance out of the crowd and prepare for your arrival.

A. Fake policeman:
This is an absolute Bolivian and Peruvian classic, there are several variations.
That´s how the different trick works
1. You walk along the street, some guy claiming to be an Argentine, Peruvian etc tourist with a map in his hand stops you and asks you for direction and as a nice person you try to help him out. Within a second another guy in civil clothes comes around the corner shows you some kind of badge and claims to be civil police, from the immigration, drug force etc. He orders you and the "tourist" to show him your passports, credit cards, money etc - the "tourist" (= his friend) will follow instantly these orders and will assure you that this is completely normal in South America. Should you hand over your credit card, wallet etc, then:
a) he will tell you that the credit card is stolen and asks you to hand over the pin number for further investigation - if you do - he turns around on his heels and runs as fast as possible to the next ATM - ciao money or
b) they look thru your wallet in search for "fake" money and take out everything which is in your wallet so fast you won´t recognize it, hand it back to you and run these are the most harmless (still costly) variations
c) is way more severe: he will just have a look at the credit card, passport, money and will tell you that they are stolen or fake - the next second a taxi comes around the corner and he urges you to get in to drive to the next police station - if you get in they drive you to a remote area and
strip you till your underwear or worse
2. A variation of this trick is, that one of the criminals befriends you already on the bus to be more convincing.
3. At bus terminals or bus stops also this might happen:
You befriend someone on the bus or getting off the bus and surprisingly they want to go in the same direction as you or want to help out a foreigner to get a safe taxi.
They organize or stop a taxi for you or tell you that you could share a taxi with their sister, friend etc - you get in, they stop at the next corner and a fake policeman or even worse a couple guys jump in - and then start praying..
Or you pick just the wrong taxi and at the next corner he stops for his buddies
4. As the shocking case of the Austrian couple shows gangs got more brutal and more organized - some of them dress up in full police uniform now, check you when getting of a bus and urge you to get into a taxi to drive to the "police station" or one is jumping in full uniform into your taxi leading the taxi to a place other buddies of him are already waiting for you.
Once and for all
There is NO civil police or tourist/immigration/drug police or customs officers in civil clothes in Bolivia which would deal with foreign tourists.
The civil police deals exclusively with organized crime and has strict orders to not bother tourists
In the last year gangs started to dress up as police officers (one can buy the uniforms in the market) - Bolivian police almost NEVER bothers with tourists - passport or luggage checks are extremely rare, the only place they (very rarely) occur are drug check points on the road down to the Yungas/Chapare.
Bolivian police officers would never jump in to your taxi to check your passport, they would never ask to see your money, credit card (+ pin number) or search your backpack on the street. They would never ask you to get in a taxi to drive to a "police station"
In two years in Bolivia I didn´t get checked once for my passport, and I don´t know anyone else who get checked by the police for documents - while I met a good share of people who ran into a fake policeman. So in case of such a "check" there is a very very high risk that you stand in front of a fake policeman.
If it´s plain clothes guys in the street:
- don´t stop for such a "map" guy, ditch him
- don´t cooperate with such a "civil police man" AT ALL, don´t get in a conversation, don´t show anything, no passport, no ID, nothing
- ignore him or act as if you don´t understand one word, smile and walk on
- in the rare case he should get physical scream as loud as possible for help (auxilio)
- if he meets you in a less populated street - get out of there
- NEVER EVER get in a taxi, don´t even think about it
- If you don´t do anything he says - chances are extremely high, that he will walk on in search for an easier target
At bus terminals/bus stops
- never ever get in a taxi someone else stopped or organized for you
- never get in a taxi someone else is already sitting in there
- never share a taxi with a person you just met on the bus or in the terminal
- lock the doors after you are in
- Pick exclusively radio taxis of reputable agencies reputable firm in La Paz are: Radio Gold, El Gauchito, Achumani or one of the Zona Sur firms which have green signs on their roofs, such as Movil del Sur or Sureño (there are several) - they all have the company name and telephone number painted on the car doors and a working radio inside – cars are normally in good shape (unlike unlicensed ones)
Avoid cabs which don't have an illuminated roof sign, or have one which simply says "taxi" and just a paper sign with "taxi" written on it behind the windshield ( they are colectivo taxis picking up other passengers along the way), or are from a firm you don't recognize, as scam artists set up
fake "radio taxis" too.
Always sit in the back seat, NEVER in the front seat (so no one can attack you from behind)
- avoid driving home in a taxi alone and wasted (ESPECIALLY as a woman)
- Avoid if possible to arrive at nightfall or later in a bigger city
Worst case: guys dressed up like policeman
Again, the chance to get checked by the real police in Bolivia is extremely slim,
If a "police officer" jumps in your taxi, wants to see money or credit cards,
or wants to get you in a taxi it is to 99,9% certain that he is a criminal and not a policeman
- Forget about everything you have learned at home about following strictly the orders of anyone in a uniform or showing a badge.
- Insist on doing exactly what you think is the safest for you, don´t let them tell you what you should do
- I wouldn´t let me convince by a Police ID - anyone can fake that stuff and who really knows how such a thing looks like anyways
- Best is to act as if you don´t understand one word, smile and walk your way and get in the next bus, that´s what they expect most likely the least and what keeps you out of trouble the easiest way - keep smiling and smiling and get out of there
- If you have to get in an argument, don´t be humble, don´t let them intimidate you
- if such an "officer" jumps in your taxi, get out , make the driver stop right away, don´t wait till they reached deserted streets, open the door no matter if the car is moving, scream as loud as possible for help (auxilio)
- if he wants to get you into a taxi, refuse it, don´t cooperate at all
- argue in a loud voice with him, so that anyone passing by can hear it - if he is a crook, the last thing he wants is too much attention
- if he insists on the control and you can´t ditch him ask for help at restaurants, shops, bus agencies whatever (and better ask at several, not to be set up by a buddy of him)
- watch for the body language of the asked - Bolivians aren´t the best lyers (should it be a friend) or they often warn you not openly but with a wink
(fear of reprisals)
- the more attention you can get from passing byers, the better - the more likely he will drop any "investigation" very quickly - lynch mobs did nasty things to robbers in the past
- If he still insists insist on walking to the police station, always use very populated streets - but agree on this just if you really tried everything to get rid of this guy, don´t agree on it the first minute ( I would argue in front of a quickly growing crowd for 20 minutes if it´s necessary) - be firm and confident in the argument, no need for the nasty swear words
- Make sure that it is really a police station (ask around)
- Even in the police station don´t let anyone disappear with your documents out of sight - sometimes they just lead you to a real station, collect your documents, credit card and disappear thru the back door
- Should you fear the minor chance of pissing off a real police officer -
what´s worse: minor trouble with the police (solved with a 50 Bol bill in the worst case) or getting robbed/killed - and as they don´t do anything against fake policemen, they really aren´t in the position to be too upset anyways - a hint about your (imaginary) friend working for the embassy XY goes a long way..
- Explain the "police officer" your fear of "fake policeman" if you can´t get rid of him- if he insists on the control or the taxi ride, this is a 1000% proof that he is not a real guy
- Arrive if possible during bright daylight in any bigger city - if the streets are dark and deserted, and little traffic is moving you are in a way bigger danger, than in plain afternoon when hundreds of people are around you
Fake policemen roam the streets esp. in areas with lots of tourists and travelers (they also prey on Bolivians, not just Western tourists) - so be extra careful in and around bus terminals/bus stopps - in La Paz besides that around Plaza Murillo/Calle Sagarnaga/Plaza San Francisco.
This trick is common in any bigger city in Bolivia (Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Oruro, Potosi) and also in Peru (some posts in the past reported fake "immigration" officers doing hotel checks and robbing guests) Most dangerous area in La Paz is the Cementerio area! Be extremely careful
there All busses from Copacabana/Desaguadero/Sorata/Charazani/Pelechuco start and
end there.
The murdered Austrian couple got kidnapped there after arriving in the dark from Copacabana
to be on the safe side - arrive during bright daylight in the Cementerio region - as it takes the minibusses 4 - 4 1/2 hrs to La Paz from Copacabana, you should leave Copa not later than midday - you will come back later from Isla del Sol to Copa than that, so think about an extra night in Copa and an early bus to LP - if heading to Copa or Desaguadero or Sorata - don´t head to Cementerio before sunrise
From the Cementario area, take a public micro (ex-US/Canadian school bus) or colectivo (minibus), to the city centre. They have handmade signs in the windscreen: look for Prado, Camacho, (La) Perez and (Plaza) San Francisco destinations, all of which will deliver you in or near to the main backpacker area centred on Calle Sagarnaga. Fares are dirt cheap, Bs1 - 1,50
(about 12 - 18 US cents) . Watch your belongings on crowded services, however, for petty (but never violent) theft, which is not common but can happen. An alternative, in daylight when the streets are full and depending on how much gear you've got, is to head downhill on foot towards the Prado (central thoroughfare). Given that the city is in a canyon, all downhill streets in central La Paz will get you to the Prado, but stick to the crowded ones
If you opt for a taxi - don´t get in one the taxis waiting at the bus stop, walk the 50 m to the main road and pick a Radio! Taxi out of the flowing traffic

B. Lost money bundle/ purse etc trick
Another classic + variation of fake policeman scam
Someone is walking in front of you and loses a big bundle of money, a wallet.
You pick it up, another person (male/female) tells you right away that he /she has seen it first - but that he would share it with you. But it would be better to do the transaction in some quieter street or corner. You follow him to share the money - within a second a fake policeman comes around the corner and accuses you of having stolen the money or having fake money in your wallet - he checks your wallet and takes a deep dip in your real money and gone he is or a taxi comes around the corner (see above) Don´t react when someone loses money, wallet, credit card etc in front of you, walk on and you´ll be fine
C. Ketchup, mustard etc trick
Someone spills ketchup etc on your clothes and tries to help you cleaning - while emptying your pockets.
Refuse any help !
(a guy ruined like this the 600 US $ suit of my ex-boss and got almost rammed in the ground.)
D. Spit trick
Someone spits in your face (could be anyone - kids, grandmas etc), you raise your hands and they empty your pockets - esp. dangerous when you just took out money from an ATM (in La Paz: don´t use ATMs in the area Sagarnaga/San Francisco, upper Prado)
E. Luggage in trunk of taxi
If you have your luggage in the taxi - wait till the driver has turned off the motor and stepped out of the car to open the trunk. If you get out and the motor is still running the driver might be tempted to just drive off with your stuff.”

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN GERMAN. If you want to read it in english, you can use an online automatic translation tool, e.g. http://www.google.com/translate_t

#Sicherheitstipps aus Brasilien#
Die folgende Zuschrift schildert zwar die Zustände in Brasilien, nicht Bolivien, enthält aber einige Hinweise, die allgemein berücksichtigenswert sind:
„Ich selber bin Deutscher und lebe seit 7 Jahren in Sao Paulo.
Meine persönliche Einschätzung zur Sicherheitslage: Es ist gefährlich.
Im Grunde genommen reichen die reinen statistischen Zahlen über Raub und Mord und Totschlag aus um von einer bürgerkriegsähnlichen Situation zu sprechen.
Es ist jedoch möglich unter Beachtung einfacher Regeln in Brasilien risikoarm zu reisen. Das schliesst unter Einschränkung auch einen Aufenthalt in einer grossen Stadt wie Sao Paulo ein… .
Wichtig beim Besuch grosser Städte:
- Vorsicht bei Nacht
- Vorsicht bei Taxis (Nur Taxistände aufsuchen bei denen viele Taxis zur Auswahl stehen)
- Bei einem Nachtklub- Besuch - Dancateria - Disco: Das Taxi vom "Gerente da casa"bestellen lassen.
- Nie ein Taxi besteigen das zufällig anhält um einen mitzunehmen. NIE NIE !! Egal welcher Preis angeboten wird.
- Im Hotel das Personal das Taxi bestellen lassen und vor Einsteigen überprüfen, ob es auch von der gebuchten Gesellschaft kommt (Associaçao)
- Besuch von Grosstädten: Wenn es denn schon sein muss: Den Aufenthalt so kurz wie möglich halten. (Statistisches Risiko)
- Polizei ist an Touristen nicht interessiert. Misstrauisch sein wenn ein Polizist etwas will. Es kann sich eigentlich nur um Geld handeln.
- Öffentliche Verkehrsmittel sind relativ sicher. Aber auch hier kommt es zu Üeberfällen. Dann alles geben...nix sagen.
- Das wichtigste: Sich unauffällig verhalten. Nicht als Auslaender in Erscheinung treten.
- Selbstsicher und locker bleiben und immer seine Umgebung im Auge behalten. Wichtig!!
So, und jetzt was zum Geld und den Karten:
So einem Sequestrador (Entführer) ist die Entführung eines Einheimischen viel lieber. Grund:Keine Probleme mit der Verständigung, keine Gegenwehr zu erwarten, kein grosses Aufsehen bei der Polizei. Weder bei totem oder lebendigem Geisel. Bei einem Touri sieht das anders aus.
Jetzt aber die Erklärung wie das bei den Einheimischen mit den Karten funktioniert und warum die Spezialisierung auf Touris: Bei einem Einheimischen haben die Banken die Karten schon so weit limitiert, dass sich das Risiko einer Entfuehrung nicht mehr lohnt. Ab 8 Uhr nur noch R$200, am 10 Uhr R$100, tagsueber R$600. Groessere Beträge nur mit Verrechnungsscheck. Kartenbezahlung nur mit Vorlage von Personal- Papieren und Unterschrift. Eine Software die bei den meisten Banken auf den Buchungs- Servern läuft überwacht Bewegungen generell. Unter bestimmten Kriterien, z.B. zweimaliges abheben eines Maximalbetrags an zwei aufeinanderfolgenden Tagen an öffenlichen Automaten bewirkt eine automatische Sperrung +Warnmeldung an einen trainierten Operator. Der ruft den Kunden sofort an. Zuerst auf dem Haendy... danach muss je nach Eindruck des Operators eine Bestaetigung des Gespraech ueber ein Festnetz Telefon erfolgen, in der Regel Haustelefon oder Firmentelefon, kein öffentliches Telefon. Wenn bei dem Vorgang der geringste Zweifel entsteht, wird die Sperrung nicht aufgehoben. Danach Anruf bei den Angehörigen. Nummer ist bei Kontoeröffnung zu hinterlegen!! Einmal habe ich mit meiner Giro- Karte ein Flugticket gekauft. Keine 3 Minuten nach der Buchung hat das Telefon geklingelt. Eine ganze Reihe weiterer Massnamen wurden ergriffen nachdem das Entführen zur Plünderung von Konten sozusagen zu einem der Hauptverbrechen wurde. Ergebnis: Seit ca 3 Jahren kaum mehr Entführungen, um Konten zu plündern.
Trotzdem, ich bin hier Ausländer. Vielleicht ein Touri? Daher habe mir eine zweite Girokarte besorgt. Die einfachste die es gibt, so eine, die die armen Leute verwenden. Dort buche ich ab und zu einen geringen Betrag auf. Was so zum Einkaufen und ausgehen gebraucht wird. Die eigentliche Karte bleibt immer zuhause. Grund: Ich koennte einmal mit einem Touri verwechselt werden. Mit so einer einfachen Karte verhindere ich dass sie an einem Automaten meinen eigentlichen Kontostand sehen, und mich dann aus Wut umbringen da sie erstens einer Verwechslung unterlegen sind und zweitens noch einen hohen Kontostand zu sehen bekommen haben an den sie dann noch nicht mal heran kommen. Kreditkarten verwende ich gar nicht. Dort gibt es keine vernünftiges Ueberwachungssystem. Bei einheimischen Credit Cards sind Barabhebungen in jedem Fall extrem limitiert.
Bei Touri- Karten gibt es das alles nicht..... Und das wissen die Gangster auch. Die haben noch die Routine aus den alten goldenen Zeiten und wenden nun ihre Kenntnisse nun an Touristen an. Aber wie gesagt, nur deswegen. Ein
Einheimischer ist immer noch das angenehmere Opfer weil: Keine Hektik, keine Verständigungsprobleme, keine Gegenwehr zu erwarten, keine weiteren Nachforschungen falls das Opfer ermordet wird.
Dann noch was zur Korruption und der vorzeitigen Freilassung des Killer:
Mit Geld erreichen die Krimminellen bei der Polizei immer etwas und anständige Bürger nichts. Als Touri nie der Polizei Geld anbieten. Ein normaler Mensch geht wegen Beamtenbestechung sofort in den Knast. Ein Verbrecher bietet aber immer Geld an. Warum: Wenn keine groessere Kommision also weitere Beamte involviert sind, so muss der Beamte akzeptieren oder er ist bald ein Toter Beamter. Alle gröesseren Faelle werden immer mit vielen Beamten erledigt. Dann ist Bestechung nicht möglich und die Beamten gehen auch kein eigenes Lebensrisiko bei der Verhaftung ein. Man kann ja schliesslich nicht alle umbringen ohne einen Zusammenhang zu erkennen. Wenn ein einzelner Beamter umgebracht wird, so ist es immer Zufall.
Im eigentlichen Sinne ist die Polizei nicht korrupt. Das Problem ist die extreme Gewalt der Kriminellen vor der selbst die Beamten grosse Angst haben. Ein einzelner Beamter hat kaum eine Überlebenschance wenn er eine Bestechung eines Kriminellen ablehnt - es sei denn er bringt den Kriminellen gleich selber um....Und das passiert auch.....Bei den Ermittlungen werden meisstens Spezialeinheiten oder spezielle Ermittlungsgruppen die unter Verdeckung der Identitaet arbeiten, eingesetzt. Das vermindert das Risiko der Beamten spaeter selbst ermordet zu werden. Ihre Arbeit ist selber eine Aktivitaet in der Grauzone der Gesetzmaessigkeit. Eine ganze Menge dieser Kriminellen Elemente werden aussergerichtlich eliminiert. Pro Tag in Sao Paulo: 60 Erschossene Zivilpersonen. Sicher sind etliche Verbrecher unter den ihnen. Dazu kommen noch einmal ca.2-3 Polizisten pro Tag.
Ich selber arbeite jedoch in Sao Paulo bei einem Automobil -Zulieferer. Jeden der mich besucht bitte ich Kreditkarten entweder gut zu verstecken oder besser gar nicht erst mitzubringen. ….
Mit anderen Worten: Es geht um die Wurst. Andere Verhältnisse als in Deutschland. Darauf soll sich der Rucksack Tourist einstellen. Zumindest wenn er Südamerikanische Grossstädte besucht. Jedoch folgendes: Mit guter Vorbereitung und Vorsichtsmassnahmen ist eine Kontinentale Südamerika Abenteuerreise kein unkalkulierbares Risiko. Empfehlenswert ist das Inland, kleine Orte. Dort ist die Kriminalitaet sehr sehr niedrig. Hier geht man nahezu kein Risiko ein. Als Reisemittel sind Busse uneingeschränkt empfehlenswert. Sicher, billig, bequem. Der Unterhaltungswert ist inclusive. Grosse Metropolen unbedingt meiden. Reisen im Innland sind kulturell am ergiebigsten und nebenbei billig und sicher. Im allgemeinen sind die Küstenregionen immer unsicherer als das Innland.
Geld: Sicher sind die guten alten Reisechecks. Nachteil: Bank suchen... schlechter Wechselkurs + Gebühren. Schlange stehen..Verständigungsprobleme. Unsicher sind Kreditkarten: Bester Wechselkkurs ohne Gebühren, Nachteil: Hohes unkalkulierbares LEBENSRISIKO

Gut, letztendlich helfen all die Ausführungen im Fall von Katharina und Peter leider nicht mehr. Vielleicht aber könnt ihr einige meiner Infos in einem Forum auswerten und es lässt sich dadurch der eine oder andere Fall in der Zukunft vermeiden.

Wolfram Perrey / Sao Paulo Brasilien