Journalist, Police ID to get you past corrupt cops?

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Nata Harli, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    I've read a few threads somewhere where travelers have carried phone journalist IDs with them and gotten good rates on hotels, meals, etc. by promising to promote the establishments in an "upcoming" book, magazine article, etc.

    That got me to thinking of a way to get out of having to bribe the local "officials" throughout Latin America.

    I've found several authentic looking police IDs on the web. Photoshop is a pretty good tool. See where I'm going with this?

    Find a nice, hi-res picture of an ID, or ask your best friend who happens to be a cop. Put a copy of said ID in something like Photoshop, crop the picture out and put yours in. Print and laminate a bunch of them and carry them with you. When you get stopped, flash your "official" police ID and act like the guy who stopped you is your long lost brother.

    Also, before you leave, go to a costume shop, rent a cop's uniform, put it on and find a police station, police car/motorcycle, and take you picture in front of it. Carry that picture with you, also, to show to your new law enforcement brother.

    Finally, print a decal that says something like "International Order of Law Enforcement Officers" and put that on your bike somewhere.

    Anyone think this plan would work? I've used phony copies of my driver's license and had them laminated and the cops never seemed to have noticed the difference.
    #1
  2. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Too involved.

    Just use this photo:

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. ColombiaGS

    ColombiaGS Two-up in Colombia!

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    As a former law enforcement officer, I think it's a disgusting idea and I hate to be rude bit if you DO go through with it, I hope you get busted big time Dishonesty is not best counteracted with more dishonesty, but rather a level head, smart thinking and education.

    If you are going to invest THAT MUCH time into all of those dishonest and illegal practices, why not take the time to research the laws of each location you are going to be traveling through? Have local/state/federal and embassy contact information for each area you are traveling prepared in advance to make phone calls if "harassed"? Use a level head and have a little local curency payoff money (in case it really comes down to it)?

    One last thing you are forgetting is that law enforcement FAR away from home usually doesn't give a shit if you are a cop. They know how pathetically small in the world a cop actually is because THEY ARE ONE! If they are after you for harassment and payoffs, that fake stuff will get you nowhere. If they are after you because you did something wrong, then you deserve it...yes?

    You are playing with fire for even dreaming this up. Sorry to be so blunt, but in my opinion the OP is idiotic.
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  4. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Is it the Cop ID idea you so strongly oppose, or also the Journalist ID?
    How about a Librarian ID?
    #4
  5. ColombiaGS

    ColombiaGS Two-up in Colombia!

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    The OP was focused on fraudulently representing yourself as a Police Officer - this is what I responded to.
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  6. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    If I read his post correctly, he was asking opinions on the use of both police and journalists IDs.
    So you have no problem, personally, with other fake IDs - only those of Police, no matter which country it's from?
    #6
  7. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    If OP thinks that "journalist" carries any weight in Latin America, then I'd also be skeptical of either his intelligence or sense. "Freedom of the Press" is largely an American (and Western European) concept. Aint gonna get you far in Latin America. Not everyone uses the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Bill of Rights.
    #7
  8. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    I'll disagree. :D

    No blanket statement here can be objective.
    #8
  9. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Oh my! This is going to be a great thread! :rofl

    You know I just got back from Parras. There is a Coahuila State Police station on the road into Parras. I stopped at the station on a bicycle to ask for directions. The police were very attentive and very polite. They also suggested other cool stuff to see in the area.
    #9
  10. moto-psychy

    moto-psychy Adventurer

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    If you're gonna try this scheme, and if ANYTHING goes wrong and you get busted with phony docs, make sure you have the phone number of American Citizen Services at the nearest US consulate. You're gonna need it when you land in the local hoosegow. And be certain -- they're not gonna be able to get you out, but they CAN help you find a lawyer (who won't be able to help) and they CAN let your relatives know exactly why you're in jail. And they're gonna laugh. They're gonna laugh a lot...and they're gonna tell everybody they know about you. This could be your chance to be a legend!
    #10
  11. ColombiaGS

    ColombiaGS Two-up in Colombia!

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    Give it up man...you won't draw me into a pissing match with you. Anyone who can read correctly (as I am, thank you) can see clearly that the subject is focused at fraudulently posing as a Police Officer (109 of 145 words - 75% of the post!). That is what I am addressing.

    That post was focused on a methodical and systematic way at beating Latin American officials at the "game" by making false representation as a Police Officer. Not only should the poster be discouraged, but the thread shouldn't even be allowed.

    Period.
    #11
  12. ColombiaGS

    ColombiaGS Two-up in Colombia!

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    I do agree with that... Honestly, I think the OP is one of those who passes through Latin American with the "high and mighty" American mentality, thinking that some for of ID from the North will boost this.

    Unfortunately it doesn't usually work that way, and far too often have I seen this attitude give North Americans, Canadians and Western Europeans a real bad rap when they try it. It is sad and embarrassing.

    However, in defense of the OP and after looking at his thread history, one trip through parts of Central America might lead him to have this mentality. One trip and a few stateside "Latin America" fan-club rides won't really allow you to truly know Latin American culture like some who spend month/years traveling or living completely immersed.
    #12
  13. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Taken quite seriously, I see.
    Since you understand this 'game', as a past Police Officer, could you explain its details and options open to riders from North America who are not aware.
    #13
  14. truax

    truax Adventurer

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    I teach photojournalism, and was a working photojournalist for many years working in several countries. A Press ID never got me a thing, not once (unless you count getting shot at by the army, police and militia(s) of several countries).

    But now that I teach photojournalism at a State University my Faculty ID does get me some breaks. Most hotels/motels offer a "state rate" to state employees.

    If you are going to misrepresent yourself, do so as a journalist is not the way to go... at least not from my experience.
    #14
  15. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer Supporter

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    The way I read it he brought up the fake journalist ID as an example, then asked if a fake police ID would work as well or better. Obviously, a fake police ID is just plain stupid but I'm not overly fond of the fake journalist ID either. A lot of hotels are mom & pop affairs and I don't like the ethics of lying to them to get a discount, promising press coverage that they aren't going to get.
    #15
  16. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    Boy howdee, did I open up a can of worms!

    For the edification of ColombiaGS just because you found one RR of mine about traveling through CA, what leads you to believe that is my only experience down there? FWIW, I've been south of the border many times.

    Now, to clarify what I seemed not to have been too clear about, I'm NOT planning on using the police ID as my official ID. I'll have my passport and any other official documentation I need. The idea for flashing the police ID was only if all other measures failed. Kind of a "Look, we're brothers" kind of deal.

    Anyway, I'm just putting this out there for your opinions. I didn't say I was going to do it or I wasn't going to do it. Just seeing what you FFs think. I didn't want it to get personal and turn in to some kind of pissing contest.

    And, another clarification. The journalist "ID" idea is something I saw here on ADV in someone's RR. They used it to convince some of the 5-star resorts they were staying in to give them a better rate. The kind of places I've stayed in would laugh me right out the door if I tried to pull that on them. :lol3

    So, let's keep it civil and I welcome constructive criticism. You don't need to tell me I'm an idiot because I've got enough ex-wifes around to constantly remind me of that. :bash
    #16
  17. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    That does kind of look like me. :evil
    #17
  18. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    I still prefer the classic "No Fumar EspaƱol" and plenty of... " :dunno "
    #18
  19. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    :rofl :rofl
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  20. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    The OP is an experienced rider, tough as nails, maybe a little nuts, and he has experience with riding Central America and Mexico.

    I think this idea could work to diffuse the situation with some corrupt cops.

    Mr. Nata Harli: I think that if you do it, you should make a "retired cop" ID. The Brotherhood Representing Advanced Terrorism Security (BRATS) ID would be perfect for you.

    You don't need yourself in a photo in a cop uniform. Just get a few friends to stand in front of a black Suburban.

    Better yet, a retired moto-cop thing.

    As for legality, come on- he's not talking about using it to break any laws, just to get out of being ripped off by corrupt cops.

    From my personal experience, it might work as defense against the cops who pull over international travelers. Like the assholes north of Lima who try to extort $200 from every motorcycle going through. I also ran into a few assholes in Nicaragua and Panama.

    The Panama cops... I'm under orders from my cousin (a lawyer) to give them $20 for working so hard in the hot sun and stuff.

    My experience on here on advrider is that all of you guys arguing are actually ok, so I say, Take The Gloves OFF!!!
    #20