Bike taken by Customs in Lima, Peru. HELP?!

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Dean74, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I would think given the severity of your mishap the folks at the aduana would work out an arrangement with you, legal or otherwise. You've been on the road for a while, surely you've acquired some negotiating skills by now. Use your injury to your advantage here.
    #21
  2. El Stigo

    El Stigo Hey Ese its EL STIGO

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    ANYWHERE BETWEEN THE US, MEXICO & WHO KNOWS
    U.S EMBASSY ALL DAY LONG....

    PEOPLE AT THE EMBASSIES ARE REAL FOLKS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN YOUR CASE AND HAVE EVERY CONTACT YOU NEED TO TAKE OF THIS ALBEIT, CUSTOMS, POLICE, OR WHATEVER....MOST PEOPLE DO NOT REALIZE HOW EASY IT IS TO SEE AN AMBASSADOR.

    HE IS THERE TO PROTECT YOUR INTEREST AND WILL ASSIGN SOMEONE TO HELP.

    LET US KNOW HOW THIS WORKS OUT.

    EL STIGO

    :jose
    #22
  3. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    I can't comment on the American Embassy in Peru, but I've been failed big time by US embassy staff when I really needed them. Keep in mind they barely ever leave the capital (if the state dept even allows them to) of whatever country they're posted in so they're often pretty clueless to the realities on the ground let alone how to deal with them. In this case you might have some luck, but I usually don't plan on counting on US embassies for any kind of help as they're often more clueless than the visitor in need of help and can often do more harm than good.
    #23
  4. Dean74

    Dean74 Adventurer

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    As some worked out, I'm not from the US, and my own embassy isn't interested in helping me at all...

    they just gave me a list of local lawyers and said good luck.

    I think i have this under control now, thanks for your opinions, i'll post an update in another month or so to let you know how i fared.

    Dean.
    #24
  5. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    Good to hear that you have it under control :clap:clap:clap, I hope it stays this way until you get your bike back !!


    Just a short comment to some of the other posts here:
    I'm always surprised how many people without a real knowledge of our countries,culture or even language always jump to bribery as the only way to solve a legal issue . And on the other hand it's the same people always bitching about corruption in our countries . You guys are part of the problem, because corruption needs always two parties , one who takes and one who pays .
    There definitely are situation where the authorities are out for a bribe (because they spotted an easy and weak victim) , but there are other situations where a law or regulation has been broken, for whatever reason. In these cases, there is always an official, administrative way to work it out . It might take longer as in the US, it might take different ways as in the US ...because it is a bloody different COUNTRY !!! If we are not willing to pay the price and take the sometimes difficult but legal way, than we not only will never get rid of corruption, but we also loose the right to bitch about corruption because we become part of it .
    Different cultures, different ways !!!
    As travellers and GUESTS in other countries we should always accept and respect the local way, no matter if we consider it wrong or right , it's just not our call to decide that .
    #25
  6. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I agree with you 99%.

    I've only paid one bribe in my life, on the Ecuador/Colombia border, and basically I had to, kind-of like coercion. Extortion. By the time I realized what had happened, it was too late in the day to call the embassy or, really, anyone.

    I agree with you except in countries where the governments aren't so much governments as they are cartels.

    I'm not sure about Peru's government. It seems more fractured and silo'd than most. It seems like bribery is part of the system- not that it's officially condoned, but more... infected.

    Hopefully our OP gets his bike back and it all works out and no bribes need to be paid and no fines or levy's are too dear.

    As for my personal experience with Peru corruption and US Embassy help: in Peru I was stopped more times than I can exactly remember. Maybe 5 times? And each time, the cops wanted US$200. At one point, during one of the last harassments, I managed to get my mother on the Sat phone, who got my sister on the cell phone, who got the US Embassy on her land-line, and then the Embassy guy told me exactly what to tell the cop about how if he kept on being a prick we'd be able to figure out a way to get his corrupt ass fired, or something like that that was basically speaking his language.

    I had zero problems in Guatemala so I can't say anything about the cops or government and stuff.
    #26
  7. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    i spend about 1/3 of my time in nicaragua. corruption is the system there. wanna take the high road? good luck. most likely you lose.

    short story: woman owns property, which has been in her family for literally close to 100 years--legally. finds one day that someone--a local--has committed fraud and put the property in his name. she sues. loses. appeals. loses. appeals to the supreme court. her lawyer gets a call from the clerk of the supreme court: "hi, if your client wants to win, please advise her to pay $75,000 USD. the court will overturn the case and the property will be returned to her."

    not a single gringo or foreigner involved.

    the legal systems in latin america have been and are broken. and while the US and other "developed" "1st world countries have their shares of corruption, for the most part, at least the legal systems work as a last resort.
    #27
  8. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I don't think any of us are saying bribes are the only recourse. In fact, I quite clearly say this is a last resort. And I would bribe the Pope if it meant I could get my bike back. I was on the road in Latin America for almost 2 years and 45000 miles. I paid one bribe and it was at the fronterra in southern Bolivia/North Chile. I missed the turn off for the aduana (can anyone read that sign?) and didn't have enough fuel to make the trek back and return to the border so the official said he'd take care of my paperwork for $20US. That was an easy decision.
    #28
  9. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    $200!!! What the hell did you do wrong for them to demand that kind of money? Maybe you meant 200 sols, even then that's out of whack.
    I got stopped a few times in Peru and it never came to any money. But each time I was stopped it was for nothing, I knew it and they knew it and I would start right in yelling at them for harassing tourists and I'd aggressively shove my paperwork in their faces. Each time bystanders would stop to see what was going on. Each time the cops would quickly get rid of me and move on to the next patsy.
    Lima seemed the worst, but if they are parked and simply try waving you down I didn't stop. I couldn't wait to get the hell out of Lima.

    In Thailand the petty corruption is also endemic, but the game is played differently from SA. Each I've been stopped in Bangkok was because I did do something wrong, $10-20 sorts it out, and you keep smiling and don't raise your voice. It's a game for them, if you get exited you end up paying more.(I learned that the hard way)
    #29
  10. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    It was US$200. My Peruvian-spanish comprehension is perfect.

    How to know when a Peruvian cop/bandito is trying to steal US$200 from you: he says, in spanish, "Pay me two hundred american dollars. I don't want Peru money. Pay me two hundred american dollars. What is that you're listening too? Is that the new iPod? Let me see it. How many songs can you fit?"

    This happened four or five times... the first time was just west of the Panamericana, about half-a-day north of Lima. A little while later, I met a German guy with a side car and a broken hand. He told me (in German- my German comprehension is only maybe 50%, and probably less when I'm trying to understand a very, very angry man trying to tell me about highway robbery at the hands of men in uniform) that he had been robbed of US$200 about 100 miles north of Lima. Soon after that meeting, I was pulled over, and accused of nothing, and they wanted me to pay. This happened several more times, for at least 4, maybe 5 times.

    For a while- maybe a couple of years? it was fairly common knowledge that the cops north of Lima were fucking assholes.

    My one bribe was trying to get out of Colombia. I had exited Costa Rica on my US passport, and entered Panama on my Panama passport. Leaving Panama I asked Panama customs which passport I should use, and they said to go ahead and use my Panama passport. I asked the same question in Colombia, and they said that since I had an exit stamp in my Panama passport, it would be just as easy as anything to just use that one.

    I didn't bother to check with anyone about visa requirements for Ecuador on a Panama passport.

    When I left Colombia, I exited on my Panama passport.

    When I got to the Ecuador immigration, they said I needed a visa to enter on my Panama passport.

    They said I could not enter Ecuador on my US passport because I did not have a Colombia exit-stamp in it.

    I went back to the Colombia immigration and they said I could not have a Colombia exit stamp for my US passport, because I did not already have a Colombia entry-stamp. They said I would have to go back to Bogota to get it.

    Bogota was three days away, then three days back.

    They said I could get the whole thing straightened out with the Ecuador consul, on Tuesday.

    It was Friday.

    Back at the Ecuador immigration, they really insisted that I had to get the right stamps.

    Back at the Colombia immigration, the only guy there said he knew a way to solve the problem. He left the building and met me behind a tree.

    I gave him US$50. I had tried to get away with US$20, but he was a better negotiator than I.

    If I had had to wait until Tuesday, it would have cost me Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights in a hotel.

    Sure, the easy answer should have been to see more of Colombia for a few days, but at this time there were reports of trouble not far from Ecuador- trouble with FARC and shit that I didn't need. NOT THAT THEY WOULD KIDNAP ME. It was just an element of trouble I wasn't in the mood for.

    Also, it was cold and wet.

    So the Colombia immigration guy met me back in the immigration building. He stamped my US passport. I went back down to the Ecuador immigration building. They accepted my US passport.

    I had planned to ride all of South America on my Panama passport, especially if I wanted to go to Brazil and Bolivia. Instead, I rode it on my US passport.
    #30
  11. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    To add another experience (because you mostly only hear about the bad stuff), I got through Peru with zero police troubles. The only brush with the law we had was when the two guys I was riding with passed a slow truck on the Pan Am on a double yellow on a blind rise and had a close one with an oncoming cop. He wrote them (and not me) a ticket which they then paid at the office in the town a couple miles down the road. Totally professional and by the book. They were even friendly about it and were giving my friends shit for being dumb enough to almost ram a cop car head-on in a double yellow.
    #31
  12. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    Wow got stopped in Peru 4-5 times is a heck of bad impression. (no wonder if you treat and call them as 'asshole shit m..fkrs). I think it is all about respect toward others, well mannered and cordial. I 've been probably 10 times in Peru all over and never being stopped by police , actually they were polite and friendly. One time we got stuck in the sand with a car close to the asphalted road. No far away was a Police Toyota Land Cruiser . They left their where about came to us, hitched us and we left.
    It was not a proper place to be stuck, because this was Paracas National park where almost every inch has archeological burials and be there is risky at least for the police eyes.
    Always to me Peruvian police had been polite and friendly. I talk to many in Lima, those in motorcycles rode by women . They are nice and friendly. Actually I was looking to buy the boots that they use, because I loved.
    My wife is Peruvian and she hates as me, bribery and corruption. Never ever a police or public server has ask for money. I consider Peruvians a hard work society, not corrupted in general when is compared to other countries .

    I have worked and lived in Lima , working as a project architect for the American Embassy Lima, 5 month below those skies and I love Peru in many ways, a rich country with a lot of history and a very creative society. Art, culture and rich pass. Yes it was a huge civilization that left a bast amount of indigenous people . mainly in poverty because they move from being agrarian to the city life. However Peru is booming with a solid economic structure today and society is getting better standard of life.

    I think all is about being nice and cordial with mainly with police everywhere in the world.
    #32
  13. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    The only issue I really had was when a cop in Panama got me for 194 kph in a 80 zone. He wrote me a ticket. I told him I was crossing the border into Costa Rica so where do I go to pay it? Then he said, ah, dont worry about it, just leave, and slow down! :lol3

    Didnt Lenny (Dirty Bones) give some Peruvian Cops that were trying to shake him down a few false 50 soles notes? That was a pretty gutsy move. Would have loved to have seen their faces when they tried to spend that money. :lol3
    #33
  14. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I had no problems in Peru, didn't get pulled over and I rode like my usual vagabond self. But I didn't spend a lot of time on the Pan Am either.
    #34
  15. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    I'll join the chorus: no problems at all with police in Peru. Approaching the famous roadblock outside Trujillo I tucked in behind a larger vehicle and sailed on by. That aside, not a hint of trouble in three or four weeks of riding. Of course, my KLR does not habitually achieve 200 kph speeds, even on steep downhills.

    It may or not be relevant that when cops start asking about my gear in that "How about a present for my wife?" tone, I just laugh, ask about their hometowns or families, and maybe offer to trade for their pants and boots or vehicles. It might also help that my spoken Spanish is almost nonexistent even when I'm trying hard, which I don't do when talking to cops. For all I know I've had the same conversation as Bananaman without even noticing.

    I'll be looking forward to hearing from the OP about how things resolve.

    Mark
    #35
  16. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    It's true that by the third or fourth set of cops trying to stop my, I ran.

    Holy shit those old landrovers are fast. My laden pig tops out at about 100 mph and those fuckers caught me.

    Here's the German who warned me:

    [​IMG]

    Here's what angry Peruvians look like when they're about to arrest snotty speeding Americans:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's what Peruvians look like after they've been unwittingly outwitted by my charm:

    [​IMG]

    .... which reminds me that I have a court date pending here in Wisconsin and hopefully I don't lose my license (again). State Troopers in Wisconsin just don't have much of a sense of humor when it comes to catching me passing in a double yellow or speeding up to about 90 to pass...
    #36
  17. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    Well those same guys from the photo above heped to get out of the sand with courtesy and friendship. I have to agree that guys doing 100 mph and eating double line, plus taken pictures of cops should be jailed for 2 weeks at least.

    Being a tourist in other country , always remember that you were invited under conditions!, not being Macho attitude in a foreing country all because you come from North America. Mainly because you will be treated like an African from the 4th world and jailed in something similar to a Rwanda B&B hut.

    Just take a picture from 2 feet out of a Police car with both guys in it, here in the U.S. . Just do it and you'll see the real outcome out of it. Be a tourist and do that! Hahahahaha!! What's the point in showing those photos above?.

    II am telling you ...as a Chilean citizen and truly a South American man, it is a shame your attitude. Next time , take one picture of Carabineros in Chile, same type of shot and you'll be out of the country in no time with no return.
    #37
  18. Dan Man

    Dan Man ex-adventurer

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    I never saw a sign! The same happened to me......the immigration officer offered for free......i have a feeling it may not have got there.
    #38
  19. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    In the US, and in Panama, it's called "Freedom of the Press." If a cop stops you, you have every right to photograph them, ask for their identification, etc. It's not unusual for the cops to be running video from their own squad car.

    In Peru it is not against the law to photograph ordinary cops.

    In Peru, and in every other country I've ever visited (Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Great Britain, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece, Serbia, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Tortola, Iceland it is against the law for cops to demand bribes, and it is perfectly legal to photograph ordinary cops doing their jobs.

    In the situation where the Peru cops chased me, and then demanded over and over for a couple of hundred miles a bribe of US$200, I was 100% in-the-right.

    Obviously.

    Otherwise, if you, Gaston, were right, I'd still be in a Peru jail.

    signed,

    you're fucking moron.
    #39
  20. Dean74

    Dean74 Adventurer

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    hello there, just thought i'd share the outcome of this original post, that being that my bike was taken by customs in Peru.

    as mentioned earlier, i eventually found my bike, not in the possession of customs thankfully. but with it came the letter from customs "resolution de intendencia" (or something like that), which informed me that my bike was to be delivered to customs without further delay, where it would become the property of the state, and if i was caught riding it, a fine to the value of the bike would be payable, along with loss of the bike. no appeal possible, and a standing warrant for the bike was lodged with poilce...

    the moral of the story?

    dont over stay your import permit.

    the other moral of the story - never give up... the altiplano of bolivia has never looked so amazing as it did aboard my old orange friend a couple of weeks ago

    :)
    #40