How I Got Used to the Insecurity in Bogota

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12 Responses

  1. ” I avoid thuggish-looking young guys and go for older drivers”…excellent advice. We HAD to catch a cab last night, and I said to Mom…let me look at the guy, before we get in.

  2. Colombian man says:

    This is a snapshot of our city, if you do not like this post is because it is a dose of reality needed to see the underlying problems and try to change them. Bogotá is not a perfect city, and ALL IS TRUE, we have all those problems of insecurity, maybe we can think that these precautions can be exaggerated but is because is our daily life; for foreing people is a useful article to prepare for travel here, this article present the dark side of the Bogotá, however is necessary for know how is “la movida”(daily life) in the city for people who dont live in here.

    Good Article.

  3. Fabian Rodriguez says:

    Hi Jade, first of all I want to apologize for my English. I recently discovered your blog and it’s great. I was born in Bogota and I have lived here all my life and unlike what you thought I won’t refute your message. I grew up in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Bogota and of course I’m used to live with many precautions. I’ve been a victim of theft several times and I’ve seen many crimes. I do not know if my city is the most dangerous city in the world, but really hate being afraid to use my cell phone in the street, ride my bicycle wherever I want or to walk in peace for any street. I love my city and would like more foreigners could visit Bogota and know it. But the problem is that we are so used to the insecurity that we are slaves to it, we have lived so long so it’s part of our culture, I hope that one day we wake up and realize that this isn’t normal and that we also deserve a safe city.

    • bogotastic says:

      Hello Fabian, Thank you for your message. Yes, I also hope that one day Colombia becomes the place we dream of.

  4. Curtis says:

    I married a Colombian in 2015 and immediately made my first visit to Bogotá, her hometown. She told me many of the same things you mentioned here … and then some. Being Canadian and having never ventured off North American soil, I can tell you I was scared shitless. And like you, I was pissed off that I couldn’t wear my favourite watch or that I had to bite my tongue if some dickhead did something stupid – which happens a lot!

    After two weeks there, including a 4 day trip to Medellin, I fell in love with Colombia but still can’t get over how much freedom you have to give up. Colombians are fiercely proud but rather than tell us to “leave and go home”, they should leave and see just how secure a neighbourhood in Toronto or Montreal can be. Yes, they have their scary neighbourhoods too. But only small pockets. Outside of those areas, I never think twice about putting my cell phone on the table in the coffee shop, or even carrying a backpack on … You know … My back.

    • bogotastic says:

      Hi Curtis, Thanks for sharing your experience! Yes, it can be a tough adjustment but we have to do them if we want to stay safe. Oh the things we do in the name of love 😉

    • bogotastic says:

      Hi Curtis, Thanks for sharing your experience! Yes, it can be a tough adjustment but we have to do them if we want to stay safe. Oh, the things we do in the name of love 😉

  5. Alejandra says:

    OMG!!! how many countries have you visited in your life? It seems like you just left the US to come here. It is true is unsafe but you dont seem to have a minimum of compassion for the problems of a country. I am sorry we dont live up your expectations but I think none is telling you to stay here.

    • bogotastic says:


      You are so predictable: “I’m sure many Colombians reading this will refute my message and say that Bogota is as safe and dangerous as any other capital in the world (REALLY?!). Because no good Colombian can stand foreign criticism against their country.”

      I have lived in many cities and countries. Like I said “I have always lived in developed countries and safe neighborhoods, where a 30-minute solo walk from the nightclub to my house at 3 AM was refreshing and therapeutic.” This includes many big capitals in the U.S and Europe.

      Open your eyes and accept Bogota has gotten worst instead of telling me to go back to my country. Foreigners are sick of attitude such as yours when they tell Colombians they way things are. Face the facts and stand up to it! That’s the only way you’ll see change in your country. Not by being passive and saying everything is okay and Bogota is just like Paris or New York. PLEASE!

  1. November 24, 2016

    […] are very wary as they are used to paying taxes and seeing the same shitty infrastructure and lack of security in their city.(Want to laugh? Read about the ridiculous comparison of the Transmilenio fare vs. New York’s […]

  2. November 25, 2016

    […] regardless of how fancy your neighborhood is, you should always be on alert (Read my article: How I Got Used to the Insecurity of Bogota). No talking on the phone in the street (especially on corners and close to the road), personal […]

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