October 26, 2008
Increasing crime against tourists have been on the rise in Guate. In the areas of Sacatepequez and La Antigua, thus far 65 tourists have been robbed. 36 agents have been added to the security forces in La Antigua. It is advised as when travelling in any large city or foreign country not to show jewelry, large sums of money or go out very late. Stay alert and become familiar with your surroundings.
Posted by Marie at October 26, 2008 03:53 AM
On a good note... please note that crime overall has decreased in Guate over the last year.
I do not think the number cited for tourists robbed in an around Antigua can be substantianted and would be most interested if it could.
Overall crime is definitely NOT down in Guatemala this year. There were, according to official figures, just under more go unreported. Kidnapping is surging and again only a fraction of kidnappings are reported.
Do not be lulled.
On Prensa Libre there is an article about the real situation. It can be found here: WWW.PRENSALIBRE.COM/PL/2008/OCTUBRE/26/270466.HTML
Out of the 12 American families I have met who are living in Antigua to complete their adoption cases, all 12 have been robbed. The dangerous areas have inside Mcdonalds play room (5 of the families) and on the road McDonalds is on, around the Banco Industrial ATM machine, and at the Market on the weekends. The MO at the market is to slash purses ad take contents out. The children are being used to lift bags and wallets at the teller machine and at McDonalds because we don't pay attention to kids near out strollers. None of the families that I know of reported the robberies.
We are talking about moving to Antigua to foster in February. We would love to hear from anyone that is living there that could give us some information. Please email us at EMP7172@aol.com. Thanks,
We were in Antigua for our first visit in August and my Blackberry was stolen out of the diaper bag. They were very close to getting my wallet from a zipper compartment. This happened in a taco restaurant with my husband sitting at the table. It was done by four women right in front of us.
Despite the petty theft problem, Antigua is a peaceful and friendly place to live or visit with your children. The crime is usually non-violent, unlike here in the US. It is easy to protect yourself from pick pockets and slash and grabs if you simply follow basic travel safety. Keep your credit cards in your room unless you will be using them. Don't wear a backpack or over the shoulder bag. Keep large amounts of money under your clothing in a money belt. Spread small amounts of money around in different places/ pockets. Keep your belongings in front of you at all times. Don't let people see where you keep ipods or blackberries. Don't wear jewelry or nice watches. Don't keep things in outside zipper pockets-Convenience to you is convenience for thieves as well. Don't go out after dark. Avoid the market on market days (especially weekends). Pay attention to your surroundings. Enjoy yourselves and your time with your children. It truely is a lovely place to visit.
I fostered my child in Antigua from Dec - Feb and went out to eat at night at least 4 nights a week, took taxis everywhere, with my 70 yr old mom and 14 mo old son and had no incidents except kindness and help wherever we went. I am quite surprised by these reports.