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Latin American Police

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Right off the bat, let me start by saying that Latin American coppers look scary as hell! I’m glad they are there, but I’m not 100% convinced that I would approach them to ask for directions.

Costa Rican Police

Costa Rica PoliceThere are police on most street corners in San Jose – two of them standing on the corner watching the crowds as the market traders ply thier trade. Every now and then, you would see them stop a bunch of youths and search them in the street.

They carry guns, and I wouldn’t want to mess with them in a dark alley, or get on the wrong side of them at any point – EVER! They would often have police dogs with them and would randomly smell the belongings of passers by.

Their priorities sometimes make me laugh. They don’t seem interested in the thousands of people selling illegal music and dvds on the streets. They take no notice of the homeless or beggars, and are often more concerned about chatting amoungst themselves, or texting friends and loved ones on their phones. They love using their phones.

Colombian Police

Colombian PoliceMedellin is exactly the same. There aren’t so many police in the middle to upper class areas, but there a plenty on the metro system and even more downtown. Some look like police and others look much more like army soldiers that are there to keep the peace.

What I find most interesting is that over 95% of them in Colombia don’t look a day over 25 – many younger than 20. Whlst I would never want to get in the way of them, it was amusing to think that many were probably just out of school.

Often, they would ride around town on motorbikes – mainly in two’s on the same bike and occasionally, there would be a van with their blue and red lights flashing as they passed down the street.

One night, I was standing outside hotel Charlee meeting a friend and two armed police came round the corner on a bike and pulled up beside me and asked me a question in Spanish. They were armed to the hilt, and for about two seconds I came close to soiling my underwear. The hotel concierge came over and started speaking. It turned out that they were looking for colleagues, but my heart was pounding nonetheless.

 

About Adrian Britton

Sometimes I will talk about things that are interesting, and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes it will be a bit of a laugh, and sometimes it will just be a downright rant about something going on in the world – I’m often accused at moaning a lot, and I consider myself quite good at it !!

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