Chile All Ways Surprising

That was the slogan used to promote Chile abroad, and these Argentinian tourists definitely got a surprise. Not a pleasant one though…

“Nadie intervino para defendernos. Quedamos desprotegidos mientras la gente nos filmaba y sacaba fotos con sus celulares”, se indignó.

Y verás cómo quieren en Chile al amigo cuando es forastero

That people were filming it was pretty obnoxious. At the same time, would people have intervened if this happened to them in Argentina? Probably not. You don’t know if they were armed. Someone intervening risked getting hurt or worse.

On the same subject of tourists and crime in Chile, did anyone see this?

Yeah. I did post a link about this on the wider crime thread. Sadly, it sounds like he was staying in a sketchy area. Most likely he didn’t know it was an area where you had to be careful, and where going out at night is particularly unsafe.

Out of curiosity, I have done some searching to see what is being said online about safety here and it seems like the current security situation is not mentioned much. Much information is stuck in 2018 or 2019 before the estallido, just be a bit careful with your belongings and you will be fine. I actually read some bizarre posts about how Vitacura and Las Condes are to be avoided because they are among the least safe areas.

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I am close to the ground on this as my Chilean family and most of the extended part live in the hearts of middle class Santiago - Independencia, Puente Alto, Quilicura among others.

I myself avoid using my traditional daypack when in Santiago or other parts when it was literally a part of my outfit for the past 20 years and carry my earth-friendly shopping bags in my hand or large pants pockets when going out for that task.

Anyhow, my brother-in-law had his car stolen in El Centro, my step-daughter and wife were robbed of groceries on the bridge coming back from the local Lider in Lo Espejo, my step-daughter had her phone snatched from her while in an Uber and now wife and step-daughters hide their phones and around the neck mini-purse-pouches beneath their clothing when going out.

Most of this crime increase and sense of insecurity is due to the uncontrolled immigration of a certain criminal set of Colombians and Venezuelans. They are bold, disrespectful of Chile, Chileans and the police and enjoy terrifying normal Chileans. My wife recounted one experience of two Venezuelans loudly denigrating Chile and Chileans in a “conversation” on the Metro while the meek Chileans just stood by silently in fear. They also will not rudely bump you in the street if YOU do not make room for them.

It is probably just a matter of time before one of us is faced with a more dangerous situation especially fearful is the increase in kidnappings which can be ruthless, bloody and perhaps deadly if Caribbean-style.


I am wondering if it is safe to go from the bus terminal to the taxi stand with 2 suitcases and a backpack.

The side street on the Turbus side of Terminal Alameda, Ruiz Tagle, is not too bad and the taxi queue is to the left if exiting the terminal there. The Pullman side, the taxis are on the closed side street where the Pullman buses arrive and leave on the east side.

Here is the secret, if you want to avoid the conniving taxis, put Ruiz Tagle 37, Estacion Central in Uber, Cabify or Didi and wait for for your transport across from Terminal Alameda on the Terminal Santiago/Sur side of that side street where the fence is leading to the parking under Terminal Santiago/Sur. This is what I do on every trip into Santiago with luggage, backpack, etc. It is a one-way street and the cars arrive crossing BOH southbound with room to wait as the lane expands for the parking access for Terminal Santiago/Sur.

Wow, EEUU. That’s awful. I really don’t get people who act like the security situation hasn’t changed here.

Personally, I have very little reason to go into Santiago these days, which is good. Where I live, things are still pretty calm. The HOA did vote to replace those barriers at the entrance, like the type used at toll booths, with a real gate, so our HOA fees have gone up.

The last time I was in Santiago, we were in San Miguel dropping off something for my husband’s boss and then La Cisterna to buy a part for our car. I was surprised that many of the businesses had their security gates closed and were serving people through the bars. In 2019, I had to go to that area to deal with some government offices back in mid-2019 and I don’t remember it being like that. We parked on a side street and I went in to buy the part. My husband said keep your phone in your pocket and just bring your debit card. In the past, I would have thought he was being paranoid. But at that point he was going into Santiago a lot more than me, so I figured he knew what he was talking about. Plus, all the shops with the gates closed like that sort of confirmed what he was saying.
I have mentioned that my husband works for a government agency in Lo Espejo. He has been back on telework since November because of the five break-ins they have suffered. Not even an agency that helps people is spared. What I find surprising is that when he called the Carabineros, they apologized for the delay in coming because they only had one vehicle. I am now wondering how police vehicles are allocated. I know Buin has quite a few because they are labeled with the name of the police station they come from - Alto Jahuel, Linderos, etc. There must be 7 or 8 I’d say. It is a large area to cover, but it is still weird that Lo Espejo only has one when I am sure the crime rate there is much higher.

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And I forgot to mention about two months ago at a Metro bus stop nearest where my mother-in-law and one of the step-daughters live in Independencia, other step-daughter was walking with 6 year old nieto when in front of them two types came off the bus with firearms visibly tucked in at the waist, she ran and fortunately the types did not pay attention as they had other plans.

My mother-in-law who is part of the administration of the apartment complex where she lives can tell you how much it and the area have gone downhill, loud music, the small apartments packed with renters (many “extranjeros” some undocumented) and of course the increase in crime and sense of insecurity.

That unfortunate American tourist made at least three mistakes, he (1) went out on his own (2) after dark, and (3) probably tried to resist his assailants. These cold-blooded animals don’t think twice about injuring or killing their victims if they put up a fight.

Even cooperating with them doesn’t guarantee you will get off unharmed. As a result, all over Chile, town centres are dead after 7pm. Even in La Serena, Colectiveros are talking about stopping their services early after a recent argument over a fare ended up with a dead driver and two Colombians in custody.

As for police presence, brilla por su ausencia.

More and more, Chile is starting to resemble this movie:

Of course, the fundamental mistake that Eric Gavin made was coming to Chile in the first place…

His other error was staying in an anonymous AirBnB apartment, where there was nobody around to offer advice or assist in case of trouble.

I read too, that he was staying in an Airbnb. In my experience, when I have stay in a hotel or hostel, staff often advise about safety issues, areas to avoid, etc. In an Airbnb you are less likely to receive guidance like that. Maybe if the host is on the property they will but otherwise, probably not.

I remember once staying at a hotel in Buenos Aires that was owned by two brothers, probably in their 60s. They were almost obsessive about my safety. One of them would sit with me when I was having breakfast and ask about my plans to give me tips about the best way to get there, etc. It was kind of endearing. The didn’t want anything to happen to the gringa traveling alone on their watch.

Honestly, I don’t know how some nightlife establishments have been able to stay in busines after the estaillido, pandemic and now crime wave. Restaurants and pubs may be able to focus more on lunchtime and mid-afternoon customers in some cases. However, I used to do a lot of research on the foodservice industry here and a lot of establishments really need both a lunch and dinner crowd to survive.

The topic reminds me of this pub we used to go to near our house when we lived in La Reina. The owners were and older couple, probably late 60s in 2019. We’d often chat with them. In about 2017, they decided they wanted to get out and retire, which is understandable. Their adult children helped but none wanted to take over the place. They managed to sell out in 2019, before the estallido hit to some generic chain, La Cervecería, or something like that. They got very lucky.

thanks eeuu, but I am better with north south east west… coming from the seventh region on a Talca Paris Londres (where did they get such a pretentious name?) bus.

OK coming on a bus from the 7th region into Terminal Alameda (Turbus or Pullman) but what is your objective destination?

If somewhere in Santiasco, take an Uber following my instructions. To the airport, easy-peasy with the Turbus airport bus.

Destination airport. Sadly, I would fit the profile of the perfect victim, 72 years old, skinny , bespectacled grey-haired gringa with 2 suitcases and a backpack. Sure would be good to have someone walk with me from the bus to the taxi stand. If anyone is in the area on Sat March 11, mid-afternoon… would really appreciate the accompaniment.

Already had a backpack with laptop stolen in that bus terminal but that was due to my negligence, no force was used. I took my eyes off it for a minute. Now it seems this new breed of robbers think nothing of knocking down a person to get their backpack. Of course I do not wear jewelry or dress in expensive looking clothes but just being an elderly gringa alone might be enough to trigger an attack.

Turbus Airport bus, you do not even have to go outside the terminal. Luggage is stored in the hold just like the regular intercity buses. And very cheap $1900 pesos one-way, can be bought when you are at the terminal, at one of the automated machines or online. Do not take a taxi from the terminal to the airport, they will probably overcharge. The bus is used by airport office park and airport workers so it will make a couple of stops before finally proceeding to the national and international terminals.

Have used them in all the 20+ years I’ve been here without issues.

They are located right after the bathrooms in the Turbus terminal (same side as to the taxi queue and exit to calle Ruiz Tagle/IBIS hotel and Terminal Santiago/Sur).

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The Argentinean tourists mentioned at the start of this thread suffered yet another assault in Viña. That was enough for them:

"En dos minutos llegaron los carabineros y los tipos se fueron. Y yo estaba ahí, cambiando la rueda, y le digo a mi esposa: 'Nos vamos. ¿Adónde? A Córdoba", destacó el afectado.

These flaites are swarming like pirañas.

That really sucks. My husband just showed me that article and I came here to post about it! I guess Sernatur won’t be asking them to be spokespeople promoting travel to Chile to Argentinians! Instead, they will be telling everyone they know NOT To come here.

A couple of years ago, I was offered a top-of-the-line brand new Dell laptop for $100.000 by a (distant) family acquaintance who apparently made his living thieving in the local bus terminal.
His MO was to get on the bus and sit at the very back while the passengers boarded. Having secured their seats, some of them would then briefly leave the bus again for a smoke or whatever.
That’s when he got up and on the way out, he took the articles that those people had left on the seats or in the overhead bins.

And no, I wouldn’t buy that laptop, or any other dodgy goods either.

Obviously that was his job, preying on the stupidity of people. I was one of those stupid people.

Got on the bus with laptop in backpack and Mom. We were seated in the cama seats main floor, 3 single window seats. I was helping Mom get settled in the front window seat and my backpack was on the middle window seat, directly behind her. I noticed a passenger in the back window seat. After Mom was buckled into her seat I turned to my seat and the backpack with my laptop was gone. So was the passenger in the back window seat. As I was talking to the driver’s assistant, explaining what happened, the back window seat passenger got back on the bus with a backpack that was absolutely bulging. He did not meet my eye. I told the driver assistant i was sure it was him who took my backpack but they said they could not search a passenger without more concrete evidence. I am certain to this day he saw an opportunity and took it. And I am not sure this was his job. It was just an opportunity and he was an opportunist. He got off at the first stop outside of Santiago with his bulging backpack.

I searched several websites hoping to be able to find and buy back my laptop, to no avail. Worst part… I had the backup hard drive in the same backpack as the laptop. Live and learn.