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Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Fuzznuts, Jul 11, 2010.
Árbol que crece torcido jamás su tronco endereza
+1 In my experiences with cops south of the U.S. they just want some $ I usually try to carry 10-$20 in LOCAL currency so you will get charged LOCAL prices.
It is just a accepted way of life in a lot of those places people just try to avoid police but sometimes they take attention to you so people try to be respectful and remind them they are working for you you can give them a tip and tell them they are doing a good job OR ?
Just like you probably wouldn't tear up a speed trap ticket in Texas it might piss someone off. Same thing in other countries when you tell a cop to go to hell when he wants a few pesos.
You can tell the police this or that or what ever they don't think you are smart it just makes them mad.
If all the locals pay tips why is a foreigner so important the they don't have to ? Because they have more money ? Because they can afford nice hotels and think they are better then us ?
Getting into some dicey territory.
I have know a few people who got cocky and ended up in jail with some large "fines" when they could of just paid $5-$10 to begin with.
Your choices are not limited to either getting cocky and telling the cops to go to hell or paying up. 99.5% of the time you also have the choice of not paying anything at all...without risking jail time or anything else. In fact, you can keep your cash and still part on the best of terms, per earlier posts.
Offering tips to cops (who have done you no service at all--merely interfered with your day on the road) teaches them to stop and hassle the next gringo they see. This might work for you, but it sure doesn't work for me.
I'm beginning to understand why they sometimes target gringos, though. Clearly, as a class we're easy touches.
(getting increasingly grouchy now, as I contemplate another day in the over-touristic paradise that is Antigua)
Are you a revolutionary?
We did this in Panamá 20 years ago- completely gutted the police force. There's still corruption, but not like in most of Latin América. Panamá cop corruption is more than Chile, less than Chicago.
This is the absolutely correct Cliff's Notes summary of the entire subject. And the reason its not 100% is that in the game of who-blinks-first, the last .5% belongs to the polite rider who knows the game and who pays not out of sense of intimidation, but out of the need for simple expediency.
To date the closest I've come was in Tegucigalpa, where I was told we're going to sort it all out at police HQ. My cheerful "¡vamanos!" got me my license back (which was fake anyway)
Kiko, you need more coffee because you didn't get the joke.
Or maybe you did and you're trying to tell me not to quit my day job.
Since the issue of the Peruvian cops came up I heard some interesting news today. I ran into a Danish couple traveling in a VW bus. They said that about a year ago through Peru they got jacked up by the cops on a regular basis. They said they never paid up more than a few soles or a coca cola, and then only a couple of times.
Then just this month coming back though the PanAm all the way up to Trujillo they said the cops had nice new vehicles, new weapons, a very good attitude, and did not try to jack them up for any money at all. So I guess something must have changed. Will be interesting to see, I cross into Peru later this week without moridida money. I will only have a few packs of smokes, all the time in the world, a big stupid smile, and few lines of buenos nachos and no fumar español.
The one time I was hassled I pulled out a mini video camera and it was like a race for those guys to get in their transito car and run away.
Are you going high?
Does the weather permit?
IIRC, there's a train station, maybe the highest in the world, that still operates in Peru.
The Amazon source comes from the eastern side of the Andes in Peru. I don't know how to get down to those tributaries, but there's some good info on some backpacker forums, if you are interested.
I think it's reachable and floatable by moto.
But that puts you solidly on the other side, and on a different path.
The way a traffic ticket works in most Mexican cities is that when you get issued a ticket, the cop takes away your drivers license and sends it to the station. Then you have to go to the station to pay the fine and get your drivers license back. The longer you wait to pay the fine the higher the fine becomes. This system is designed specifically to prevent traffic cops, transitos from taking bribes.
The problem is, going down to the station a real pain in the ass. First you have to find the station, then you have to wait until the end of the cops shift when he turns in all of his tickets, which usually means waiting until the next day. If you are on a trip this could really suck.
The stations are government offices designed specifically for paying fines, similar to a banks with tellers. Of course, customer service isn't exactly the highest priority, so when you get there you have to wait in line for a while to pay the fine and get your drivers license back.
Out on the highway the system is more accomodating to passers by, which means offering the offender the convenience of paying on the spot. If you can pay on the spot it beats the alternative of paying at the station. The price of the ticket is usually only about 150 or 200 pesos. $15 paid on the spot, no insurance hike, no points off your license, no problemo. Vamos!
And the vicious cycle of corruption that breaks the backs of citizens of these countries is complete.
And the wheels on the bus go round and round.....
Mike, I am not for corruption, I guess I didn't make it that clear that I was talking about legal pay on the spot. There is such a thing. The Fedarales de Camino offer it. To keep things on the up and up, you just make sure you get a receipt.
When I said no insurance hike, no points off your license, no problemo. Vamos! I was just referring to the ticket being issued Mexico not the US where all of that stuff applies.
On that subject, I think Mexico really needs a points system. How many serial drunk drivers are out there endangering everyones lives whose license should have been revoked decades ago? They actually need a whole new Criminal Justice System but that is another subject.
There's a very easy solution to this problem. If you have several international drivers licenses you just call their bluff, hand them the license, and forget about going to pay. Most of the time when they see your willingness they back down completely.
I was stopped 4 times in one day between Huaraz and Lima on the pan am in March. Only once did I have to pay a bribe of about $7 USD for the two of us. Most of the time we simply waited them out, However, when they tried to stop my buddy and I in the mtns descending to the coast we just ran from them dragging hard parts half the time though the twisties hahaha. This is the reason I know they don't have radios Perhaps your friend was just much luckier than us or less gringofied.
Today I had a funny experience on the Mexican road. In Fresnillo Zacatecas I pulled up at a stop light next to 3 motorcycle cops. They were all looking over admiring the KLR, one said thats a 650 isn't it. I said yeah and whats that, a 250? He replied, naw its just a 125. So I said, you couldn't catch me then could you! We all got a laugh and the light turned green.
SR, sorry, I should have read your post more carefully.
Thanks for pointing that out.
They might be riding 125cc in some parts but the local city cops (not transit cops) just got a fleet of V-Strom 1000cc and the Suzuki dealer has had a huge banner up for the PRI party for 2 months and has yet to take it down. The Boca del Rio tansist police use mostly 650cc and up Yamaha cruisers and the odd Harley. The state governor has a BMW escort or two.
Hey! Whadya mean "odd Harley"?
Perhaps they were lucky with the Peruvian cops. However this information is less than two weeks old and was confirmed by a rider I met yesterday fresh across the border from Peru. Of course I will find out for my self. Also fwiw I crossed into Peru today at a remote crossing. When I got to the highway I stopped at chatted with all the cops I saw at checkpoints. They were polite, professional, and one guy who was getting off of his shift drove 30 minutesout of his way to show me to a hotel. So I dunno, but it seems like thing could be a bit different now.