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  #31  
Old 20 Feb 2008
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I was just stopped and shaken down for money outside of Piura. The excuse was no insurance although none was offered at the border.

My first day in Peru was spent with negotiating with angry mobs manning roadblocks in the north and my second was spent with corrupt police.

Just lost my clutch.

Last edited by Laser Jock; 21 Feb 2008 at 00:29. Reason: retracted comment
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  #32  
Old 20 Feb 2008
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Stay off the coast

Lazer Jock,

Have lived most of my life in Peru and have loved it (tho I hate the bribes, etc too). I'd suggest staying away from the coast, especially down near Barranca before Lima, its boring on the coast anyway..

In 1963 my dad was up in the Peruvian Andes near Vilcashuaman and he was arested for.. GET THIS!... BEING CHE GUEVARRA! A 6'2" gringo! The police held him for 6 days with machine guns until we could get his papers to the officials!

These things happen, then we look back on them and laugh years later! Don't let it take the wind out of your sails !!!

Toby (charapa) Around the Block 2007 |
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  #33  
Old 21 Feb 2008
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Don't listen to me, its probably just the latent malaria talking.

I spent the last 2 weeks riding in the rain. So I was hoping the desert would be a nice change.....But yeah, the constant fever, endless rain, crooked cops and shouting angry mobs, people throwing nails in front of the tires, sucking a half river down the air intake and now my dead clutch all in rapid sucession have kinda got me down.

Perhaps I should dabble with the seratonin uptake inhibitors in my med kit.
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  #34  
Old 21 Feb 2008
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It is a pity to see that ex president Fujimori´s big sweep through the policeforce is fading again. I travel through Peru every year and notice that since he left office in 2000 the police is hassling a bit more every year, but so far I had problems only along the coast and mainly around Lima: up to the first 200 km north of Lima and about 60 km south of Lima, and Chaclacayo on the Carretera Central. Never ever paid though, just play stupid, dont speak a word of spanish, show an empty wallet and they give uip in the end. But for the rest of the country I find them still ok.
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  #35  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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Los Angeles Guardianes - Caca de Vaca!

I am afraid to report that the reputation of the self - styled Los Angeles Guardianes (Peruvian Traffic Rozzers) as thieving, robbing bastards who like to try to treat foreign bikers as mobile ATMs, is wholly justified.

My compadre and I were stopped 3 times the day we travelled north on the Panamericana from Lima 2 days ago with the same routine:

1. Give us your licence
2. You have committed an infracion (we hadn´t)
3. You have to get your licence back from your embassy in Lima
4. Or, you can give me 100USD now and the infracion is cancelled.

We got around this the first time by just holding our ground, shaking our heads and repeating No, no, no, (a la Amy Winehouse). We also played reverse Good Cop, Bad Cop with him, confused him by saying that Gales and Escocia don´t have embassies in Lima, only in London, asking for his name, and hamming up taking notes and photos of his name, number and patrol car. After an hour, he got bored / embarassed and gave us back the licences.

By the time the third one happened in the same evening, we had got a lot more polished - I refused to speak to them, I have an almost expired UAE licence which I gave to him and didn´t mind losing and mi compadre just gave the paper counterfoil to his UK licence.

The biggest joke of all was that the last pig eventually waved us on, warning us to get off the road before dark as this area was renowned for bandidos holding travellers up at gunpoint during the night. I don´t think he saw the irony that he had the barefaced, no - shame cheek to try exactly the same stunt in broad daylight. Needless to say we got straight through Northern Peru the next day and into Ecuador asap, with a bad taste in our mouths about Peru.....

The most important thing to remember is not to pay these pigs anything, even if they start bargaining down to what seems like a little bit of money to you, as it will only encourage them to hassle other foreign bikers....
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  #36  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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Just tell'em you dont have any money as you've already been robbed by a cop who gave you the same story !
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  #37  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Hacker View Post
Just tell'em you dont have any money as you've already been robbed by a cop who gave you the same story !
LOL! That's what I did the only time I was asked to pay a "fine" and it worked well. I kept a very small amount of cash in my wallet. When asked for cash, I told them I had no money, even showed them my wallet after a little time. Told them, the last cop left me just enough money to get a room that night so I wouldn't have to sleep on the streets!

Over all I was stopped 10-11 times between the Ecuador border and Lima! Only once was I asked to pay a fine (as mentioned above). The other times, I would stop, take off my helmet, crack a big smile and chilled out with the them. Most of the time, they just wanted to see where I was from, check out the bike, etc. One of them actually wanted to trade his $2 uniform baseball hat for my $350 helmet! Deal or no deal....hmmm? Funny thing was that my helmet is a giant XXL and he needed a medium. I laughed my ass off when he tried it on!

The photo doesn't give an idea of how big my helmet was on him!

In short, I think if you approach the situation pissed off and annoyed that you got pulled over again, you will be more likely "fined" because you are acting like an ass. Give them a smile and be polite and even joke with them, they will most likely wave you on after a brief chat.

Some friends of mine from England and Norway were stopped just a few hours north of Lima by some cops on motos. Yes they were asked for a fine. They refused to pay and during bargaining with the cops over the fines, my friends asked about the poorly maintained police motos. They had balding tires, one bike even had a worn out belt drive and I understand a replacement belt is mucho dinero. Anyway, my buddies found out that these guys had to pay for the maintenance of their bikes and they get paid peanuts(even by Peruvian standards). After awhile the cops warmed up to them and eventually won their sympathy for all the hassles they were getting from their fellow coppers! Go figure! How you approach these guys will either help you or make it more of a pain in the ass for you.
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  #38  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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Nice Photo of Officer Sanchez!

Dear Rhinoculips - thanks for your thoughts and especially for the great photo of the first rozzer who stopped me 2 days ago. He said his name was Officer "Sanchez"!

Cheers and all the best,

Honesy.
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  #39  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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Wow this post is seriously off putting for someone currently planning their first trip through Central America. People stopped 10 or 11 times in Peru, Cops planting drugs on you in Mexico and having to drive to embassies to regain your license in Nicaragua or pay heavy fines/bribes? To be honest this isn't the type of thing I think would make me look back and laugh. I've been to Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba all without a bike and any hassle but that's not the same fun as being on two wheels at all. Pretty anxious now.
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  #40  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ View Post
Wow this post is seriously off putting for someone currently planning their first trip through Central America. People stopped 10 or 11 times in Peru, Cops planting drugs on you in Mexico and having to drive to embassies to regain your license in Nicaragua or pay heavy fines/bribes? To be honest this isn't the type of thing I think would make me look back and laugh. I've been to Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba all without a bike and any hassle but that's not the same fun as being on two wheels at all. Pretty anxious now.
Don't let these experiences throw you off your game, just play along and all will be well! It's all part of the adventure! Good tip... pack a few fake drivers licences! The cops always give you the option of paying now, or picking up your licence in the next capital. I refuse to pay and say i'll pick it up later, they usually give up and give it back. Just learn how to play the game and have fun with it, it's just part of the experience, and trust me, you'll get good at it after a while!
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  #41  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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On the Smellybiker site there was a form you could download which looked official explaining it was intended to prevent corruption. The officer had to include his details along with details of the infraction. The idea then being you would hand it in to the embassy.
I cant find the form Smellybiker's Wanderlust Worldmap • Index page but if someone created something similiar it may be useful especially if we hand it in to the relevant authorities.
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  #42  
Old 15 Mar 2008
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Its at http://www.smellybiker.com/arg_cops.doc but I think a few better versions exist.

The 'relevant authorities' are usually on the take so dont expect things like that to work in S.America - much more fun to have copies of documents, an empty wallet and see how much of their time you can waste before they let you go.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DarrenM View Post
On the Smellybiker site there was a form you could download which looked official explaining it was intended to prevent corruption. The officer had to include his details along with details of the infraction. The idea then being you would hand it in to the embassy.
I cant find the form Smellybiker's Wanderlust Worldmap • Index page but if someone created something similiar it may be useful especially if we hand it in to the relevant authorities.
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  #43  
Old 18 Mar 2008
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I just finished Peru. Despite the rioting mobs, overall I had a pretty good time. Peruvians are overall really nice people. I had a restaurant owner on a "Chinese Harley" drop what he was doing and lead me out of Arequipa this morning. Many rural Peruvians were fascinated to meet a foreigner and were extremely friendly.

Thanks to this thread I was ready for the crooked cops outside of Lima.

I was flagged down and the cop immediately demanded $130 for some mysterious reason. Then he threatened to cuff me. I flagged down another police car and asked to be taken in to the station to speak with the Commandante. The guy backed down real fast. By the end of the confrontation I was lecturing him on honorable conduct and the pernicious effects of corruption and he was begging me not to tell his boss what he'd done.

Riding high for the rest of the week on that one.

So for all of Peru I had 2 crooked cops and hundreds of friendly cops and people.

I did find Peru's poverty very disturbing. The worst I've seen in all of the Americas. Some of the stuff you can see and smell in the shanties is haunting.

Overall the good outweighs the bad in Peru.
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  #44  
Old 12 Apr 2008
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I am from India. Cops make living out of locals' bribe and it is everyday event. You can see that on every state or road in India. Normal bribe is between Rs50 ( US$1.25) to Rs200 ( US$ 5).But I never seen a cop demanding bribe from a foreigner in India. Ok, I am coming back to Peru now. I will be riding in Peru in May 2008 and my Spanish is sooooooo Poor. I don't know How am I going to manage? Is it all over Peru or only near Lima? I will riding south to north on Panamerican. Is there any effective detour should I consider?

I had very bad experience in Peruvian Embassy in New Delhi when I went for my Visa. Only because of Machu Pichhu I tolerate all ill treatments of embassy staffs. I am going to write to Peruvian Foreign Ministry about that after my trip.

Nelson

Last edited by nsk11; 12 Apr 2008 at 14:34.
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  #45  
Old 2 May 2008
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I had an attempted "shakedown" at the 1st toll booth north of Lima (PanAm)
Here's how it went for me...from my blogsite @ Moto Americas
Beating "the man" in Peru


All throughout my travels in Peru there were National Police on the highway at very regular intervals. Sometimes I’d just get an uninterested look, but usually I’d get a robust wave or a thumbs up. I found their presence to be quite reassuring. However, in doing my research for this trip travelers were constantly talking about one area notorious for shaking down independent travelers. I filed this location away (it’s north of Lima on the PanAm) and was waiting to see what might happen. Peru has toll booths every hour or so along the PanAm, but Motos are exempt from paying tolls. However I was required to find the way around the toll plaza…sometimes I’d have rather just paid the toll. Anyway, I was exiting the plaza and instead of the friendly wave I was waved over to the side of the road. This guy was good cop and bad cop rolled into one! He started with a big handshake, then told me that I had been speeding as I approached the plaza. I was going 45 (kph) and the limit was 30. He then pulled out his little book of infractions and fines and showed me that it was a 70 Sole’ (about 22U$D) fine. I protested (of course) but he seemed pretty stubborn. Before this trip started I received a letter of introduction from BMW USA, explaining my trip and asking any BMW dealers along the way to possibly assist a rider far from home. My friend Bob Guzman provided a Spanish translation so I had this on BMW USA letterhead in both languages. Well, I had put a copy of this in my pocket as I entered Peru, and I handed his to the cop as I fumbled for my money. In the letter it states that I am hoping to write a book about my adventure. After he finished reading this I told him that he would now be a part of my book. Well, he told me to put my money away, that we were now “good friends….right?”
More hand shaking a little pat on the back and I rode off victorious.

Thanks Bob, I owe you lunch in Fairport!
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