Peru | Taxi RobberyAlice Hagger-Vaughan | 10 Jun 2010

Me and 3 friends who had been living in Lima for two months, took a taxi home from the Barranco area of Lima at around 3 in the morning one night after going to a club. The taxi driver offered us a low price and so we hopped straight in thinking the taxi was fine as it had a code, a company name and all of the 'correct' features that taxis normally have. Unfortunately the taxi was not a a normal taxi. After noticing something strange when the driver stopped at a petrol station and asked for the fare so he could pay for the petrol, we became slightly suspicious but it wasn't until we stopped in a very poor and dangerous part of lima instead of heading home that we noticed something was very wrong. 5 men proceded to surround the taxi and pulled us all out of it with force. The driver snatched one friends bag and then drove off leaving us with the men. Luckily nobody from our group put up a fight and they just took all we had, although they were rough with the male member of the group and punched him to the ground. After this we ran away but then had difficulty finding our way out of the area at night, as there were more gangs in the area. This experience was an extremely scary one and after talking to other peruvian friends we found out it happens pretty often when people get into a taxi at night directly off the street. I can only say that it is massively important never to take a taxi from the street and to always ring in advance for the taxi. Also if the music is turned up extremely loud (this was the case for us) please treat this as suspect. We wouldn't want this to happen to anyone else as it is something that is quite traumatic to overcome even now over a month later.

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