Afraid of Colombia

by Bobby
(United States)

Paloquemao Market place in Bogota

Paloquemao Market place in Bogota

I am an american who lived for 6 years in Bogota, my wife is still there (she is a "rola"). I left because I was so afraid.

At the beginning was fine, but wisely I would spend my life scared. Why don't you tell the people about paseo millonario, burundanga, and atracos, land mines, kidnappings, the poor people who died inside a Bus, they got burned.

I love Colombia but now is getting worst. Any gringo can go outside Bogota, neither should.
I liked Paipa, Villavicencio, Girardot, Melgar, etc but when I called to the police patrols, they told me several times "Mr. Gringo you can´t travel, there's no army".

I believe you are trying your best to let people know about retiring in Colombia; but you should tell them about all the risks.

Also it is not inexpensive anymore; the dollar is too low. Carulla is more money than supermarkets in New York . I don't believe gringos will go to market at plaza siete de agosto, las ferias o Paloquemao, neither Corabastos.

I know all Bogota except the south part, and I miss a lot my neighborhood Cedritos, what a shame, but the truth is that I don't want to spend my retirement in a scary and dangerous environment. Thanks for listening
I am very impressed with your web site, Te Felicito.

DIOS BENDIGA COLOMBIA

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Nov 02, 2015
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Colombia
by: Anonymous


We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable info to work on. You've done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

Adler

Sep 29, 2015
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Afraid of Colombia
by: Anonymous

Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks



Alex


Apr 21, 2012
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Living in Bogota
by: Carlos

Living in Bogota or the rest of Colombia is as dangerous as you think. If you exercise common sense and respect the people and the culture there is no problems. Certain Americans tend to be overbearing and stupid and criticize Colombia and our prople.

Colombia realistically is a thrid world country but it also a country thst had made significant strives and changes in the last 10-15 years. Myself I rather live in Bogota or anywhere else in Colombia then in New York with agressive uptight Americans who always in a rush always stress over everything.

At least in Colombia its very relaxing and my people are very friendly and helpful


Apr 19, 2011
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Get a grip!
by: rgsafm

You know, if you are getting mugged or robbed, it is your own fault. With proper planning ahead,you could avoid it. Take responsibility for yourself instead of shifting the blame onto someone else. I love Colombia, and it's people. My wife and I want to move there. We will be fine because we know how to handle ourselves. We have been there many times and the friends that we have made are like family to us. They watch out for us when we are there. I'm pretty sure they are not out to get you. Man, get a grip and start using your head!

Feb 07, 2010
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security worse?
by: Anonymous

the security increase in the US is no more than a trick to get people to comply with being controlled!!!! It has nothing to do with security or more or less safety.
What does being padded down,not carrying water bottles,and taking off one's shoes,in the long-term,truly have to do with preventing air crime? it's ridiculous.
so that is not a fair comparison with colombia security in airports.
it is like the colombian who posted said: it's part of the US gvmt tricking it's people.
This person is correct. Sad thing is,many people will think my words are crazy and wrong,and will not see what is wrong with thinking that you will be safer,if,little by little,you agree to more scrutiny and violations.

Having soldiers in an airport is very different than being electronically scanned and not being allowed to leave your seat. Please. let's not equate them. soldiers may defend you;the other stuff will not prevent much of anything.

Feb 07, 2010
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Life is, or can be Beautiful no matter where you live
by: Jim Johnson

I am from the USA, and I love my country very much, but that does not mean that I am any better than a person from any other country. I have been in about 38 different countries, including Mexico, Central America, Canada, through out all of Europe, Panama & Colombia, S.A. I love everywhere I have been to and the people of each of those countries. What gets me is when a person likes to cut down another country, even their own country. When I had live in each of these countries I always looked for the positive things in each of those countries including the people. I never looked to see how dirty a country or its people are. I also never compare my country with any other country. All countries has its highs and lows,there's not one place on this planet that is not beautiful. Most of the time it's you yourself that makes you happy or unhappy with where you live. After all we are all children of our Heavenly Father no matter what race or color of our skin is.

Jun 13, 2009
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safety
by: Arnold

Yes, Colombia has serious problems of security and safety. However, Fort Lauderdale has many unsafe areas, many murders, etc. Be attentive, remember the rule of papaya, and use common sense. I have been happy to notice that the security has been lowered at the airports in Colombia, while ours are getting more difficult for traveling. The lowered security threats in Colombia permit lowering the levels at airports, simple, while it must be true that our country is less safe. Sad, but worth thinking about. The roads that I have traveled in Colombia are well and heavily patrolled by army and police. Murders in Bucaramanga over a 4 week Christmas season, 21. Here, who knows, but at least one or two per night in this city where I live. Nothing is perfect, but Colombia is a happy place, full of kind people, but everything must be considered. I have no hesitation to go.

Dec 15, 2008
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I love living in Popayan & Cali
by: Anonymous

Security is a concern in Colombia of course.

However, you gave up and fled instead of living like a free man!!! I have lived in Colombia since Sept.1999 . I am security conscience but not afraid. I live in a Conjuntos cerado housing complex. I bought this home in 2003 for 74 million pesos...........it is now closely double that. If someone gets in your face ........deal with it. Personally i also carry a Pistol. If you were living in Colombia and had a Cedula, you could have applied for a Permiso Porte Arma.

The pistol allows me to be a free man. I realize that not every man is free, but he could be if he'd just grow some Cojones!!! I'd rather die living life in Colombia then of heart disease sitting on the couch eating potato chips in the USA!!!

Nov 06, 2008
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I'm a Gringo and I live here.
by: Another Gringo

I shop regularly in Plaza de las Ferias and sometimes in the other markets. I've been in all of them, including Corabastos, which is supposedly the most dangerous one. I go everywhere in the city at all hours. I do all the stuff the chickenshit poster was afraid to do, and have never had a problem.

If you are really worried about getting robbed in Bogota AVOID the Zona Rosa and the 93 area. Those are the two areas where you are statistically most likely to get robbed in. Just because an area is ugly or poor does not mean it is high in crime. This is not the US. Things are different here.

Is Bogota as safe as NYC is now? No. It is about as safe as NYC WAS when I moved there back in 1997. Which means there is a lot of pickpocketing and petty theft. One should take common sense precautions when being here. But taking those precautions VASTLY decreases your chances of ever having a problem, and the positive benefits to living here are ENORMOUS, more than enough to make up for the slightly elevated crime. I absolutely love this city, and would NEVER move back to the US. I will just take simple steps to prevent my pockets from being picked, keep my eyes peeled on the street, and continue having the time of my life.

May 27, 2008
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I respect your reasons
by: Mauricio

Bobby, Thanks for your sincerity.
Well I think 6 years is time enough to know the country very well. I respect your reasons for leaving.
As I say in my ["Retire in Colombia"] page, we have the same problems every other country in the world could have. Kidnappings, killings, atracos are not exclusively of Colombia. Like terrorist group in Colombia FARC; there is ETA in Spain or Bin Laden in the US and Europe. We have to take our caution measures just as common sense dictates.

I don´t see people in the States leaving their country because gun shootings at schools and Universities . It would be unfair also to say that it only happen in the States. Look what happen in Germany last year.
I know that terrible things happen here too. All people in the country were horrified for the case of the bus. I use to travel once or twice a month by bus at night from [Bucaramanga] to other cities in the country (Bogota, Santa Marta, Cartagena, Medellin, etc) and I can say that there is police and army all the way on the road, and that make me feel secure.

Maybe that's not the case for all the roads in the country, and I know now I will have to be more cautioness and call the police to check if there is a patrol. But I 'm not gonna stop traveling. Most Colombians don´t perceive situation like everything is anarchy and that things are getting worst in the country. You will see the complete opposite.

Bogota, as I also say in my bogota's page, is like any other capital city in the world. And I agree with you that Carulla is not the cheaper supermarket. You have many others to choose ( Exito, Carrefour, Cafam, Olimpica just to mention in Bogota), without having to go to Corabastos (I don't even think it would be a bad idea to know a [typical market place like Corabastos] or any other typical market places in towns and small cities).
Anyway Bobby , what I do is to point the good things about Colombia and the advantages a foreign person would find here. We have enough covering of the bad news at the media (T.V. and newspaper) I would be very pleased that people all over the world could enjoy the kind of Colombian life. I'm not trying to hide anything. I think bad news have more broadcast that good ones and it's not a secret Colombia is not the first place people to think of for retiring. But we are changing that.

I just giving my grain of sand to make of this a better country.

The only thing I can tell you is that we are almost [40 million inhabitants] and the majority is like the people you knew in those 6 years. I'm sure there is plenty of room for more from outside!

Regards,
Mauricio

May 27, 2008
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WHERE DO YOU LIVE ?
by: Anonymous

JUST WONDERING WHERE YOU LIVE THAT PEOPLE DONT GET MUGGED AND KILLED ? EVERYTHING YOU DESCRIBED SOUNDED LIKE NEW YORK AND PROBABLY EVERY OTHER MAJOR CITY IN THE U.S.A...I REMEMBER BEING IN BOGOTA 3 YEARS BACK AND WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS...THERE WAS A STORY THAT NIGHT ABOUT A SHOOTING IN A NIGHTCLUB IN SOUTHERN BOGOTA AND MY AUNT SAYS..."YOU SEE YOU SEE HOW IT IS HERE ?" I THOUGHT WHY IS THIS SO SURPRISING TO YOU AUNTIE ? THIS KIND OF THING HAPPENS IN NEW YORK NIGHTLY...SORRY YOUR EXPERIENCE WAS THAT BAD...BUT LIKE ANY OTHER CITY WHEN YOUR WALKING THE STREETS YOU SHOULD USE SOME STREET SMARTS IF YOU HAVE ANY...

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