Colombia: Foreigners Targeted By Crime

The State Department has issued a warning to American travelers, urging them not to use dating apps while in Colombia after reports of multiple ”suspicious deaths” of U.S. citizens in the South American country. Ideally, the government agency would advise not to use dating apps altogether, but we live in a world where indecency is the new normal. After years of relatively low-crime levels, Colombia has been marked as a ”reconsider travel” destination for Americans since January 2, ”violent crime, such as homicide, assault, and armed robbery, is widespread. Organized criminal activities, such as extortion, robbery, and kidnapping, are common in some areas.”

The U.S. Embassy in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, was made aware of eight ”suspicious deaths” of private U.S. citizens in Medellín between November 1st and December 31st, 2023, according to a recent advisory. ”The deaths appear to involve either involuntary drugging overdose or are suspected homicides,” the advisory states. While it’s not believed that the deaths are linked directly as each involved ”distinct circumstances,” a number of them involved the use of online dating apps, along with possible drugging, overdose, and robbery at a time when local authorities in Medellín have noted a significant increase in crimes against foreign visitors.

The main reason I felt inclined to report on this is the increase in financial migration, especially of American and European expats, to countries where they can retire with less funds. As Costa Rican and Portuguese economies seem to slow down and crime increases, my wife and I have been looking for a cheaper option to settle for a few years and save up some funds until we are ready to make our next move. I suggested places like Croatia, Poland, and Hungary, but the looming war and the harsh winters further deterred the love of my life. In Latin America, the increasing safety of Colombia has been making the news for the last decade, along with the super affordable cost of living.

Since the demise of Pablo Escobar, his Medellin Cartel, and later his competition, the Cali Cartel, things have changed a lot. Then followed by a steady decline of violence due to the success of the military in controlling terrorist organizations such as FARC, the South American nation has stood out as a safe and beautiful destination, where a flavorful culture, beautiful colonial architecture, gorgeous beaches, weather variety, great food, and music await to travelers from all over the world, and the best part? Money lasts way longer in Colombia. And so, I started to do some research. I quickly found dozens, if not hundreds, of videos describing crimes against foreigners on the rise.

As a married man, I would not be in a position where I could be easily targeted by women. However, kidnappings to drain your accounts are not uncommon and not exclusive to those men who looking for female companionship. There are markers at the airport who follow possible victims on arrival, and granted, the likely target of these scopolamine and kidnapping bands looks very different than a family moving in with children, or does it? Once you are the head of a family, security and precaution must always be on your mind, front and center. I still have not looked into the possibility of carrying a gun despite not being a national, but that, of course, wouldn’t make much of a difference.

Observatory of the District Personnel of Medellín reports that thefts committed against foreigners (excluding folks from Venezuela) jumped 200% in the latter part of last year. Additionally, violent deaths of visitors from other countries have jumped 29%, with a notable majority of the victims being United States citizens. Criminals in Colombia are reportedly using dating apps to lure victims, particularly foreigners, to meet seductive women in places like hotels, restaurants, and bars to rob them or worse. ”Numerous U.S. citizens in Colombia have been drugged, robbed, and even killed by their Colombian dates.”

The U.S. Embassy notes that these incidents are on the rise, with major cities like Medellín, Cartagena, and Bogotá, the hotspots for such crimes. While such incidents are reported regularly to the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, the scale of the problem is likely greater than it seems, as these types of crimes routinely go underreported because victims are often embarrassed and reluctant to pursue legal action. Let’s not forget that Colombia is also a heavy human and organ trafficking hub, where prostitution has become the hopeless way out of poverty for some females. Behind these ladies, there is an organized band of dozens of people and folks who are also connected to the cartels.

Travelers to Colombia were advised to avoid isolated locations when meeting people they found through dating apps and informing friends or family members about plans for any meetings. The advisory also suggests not physically resisting any robbery attempt. It is a shame, as the great people of Colombia are hospitable folks, and their food is delicious. The country has breathtaking beaches and diverse natural beauty. The political situation appears to have affected the middle and low classes significantly, and due to desperation, many end up accepting any way out. Not to make any excuses for these criminals, of course, but socialism will worsen the problem.

Another thing that seems to be prevalent is the corruption and general laziness of local law enforcement, who often won’t look twice at a case and will even work and collaborate with some of the gangs in the country. More than corruption, it feels like an abundant apathy in the police force, as if they don’t have the time or resources to fight back against this modality that threatens to affect tourism in a great manner. Some will argue that most criminals are targeting sex tourists, and this is a win-win, but the fact is once people die, a line has been crossed.

That said, if you are someone who travels to these countries to behave immorally and promote crime, I hope you take a second look at your life and think hard about why you are doing what you have been doing. The root reason why you are unable or unwilling to live the life of a functional male who takes care of others instead of wasting your potential may be complicated, but the longer you avoid confronting it, the more destroyed everything will be when reason and mostly God come back to your existence. Hedonism is the affliction of the weak, do not confuse it for strength as true might requires loyalty and responsibility. Renounce evil: Accept God and Jesus Christ in your heart.

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