A place where information can be shared about known relevant assaults that have occurred in specific locations so people can take some precautions when passing through a specific area. 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 particularly well known for its delinquency. It is less about opportunistic theft. There’s a reasonable chance that these incidents are carried out repeatedly by locals (although not always obviously) so knowing where this has happened could be useful.
If you know of a specific incident that has happened please let me know the location (coordinates ideally), when it happened and a brief summary of what happened. Also note that it probably looks worse than it is because the icons are so big. Remember these incidents are relatively rare compared to how many people tour on bicycle and to put it in perspective traffic on the road is still almost certainly the greatest risk. So don’t let it stop you touring and take care with traffic on the road (more than anything).
‘Enlarge map’ for the KML file
General observations and speculation:
- Areas for particular precaution: Northern Caribbean coast of Colombia and Northern coast of Peru.
- Assault in the mountains of South America seem far less common than the coast.
Logical precautions one can take in known hotspots:
– 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.