How to avoid a kidnapping
Some very useful advice from FONDELIBERTAD of the Colombian Ministry of National Defense, because prevention is your best ally.
• In the city, get used to traveling on different routes and at different times when possible. Avoid traveling in desolate or solitary places.
• Keep a respected person informed of your daily itinerary and stay in frequent communication with them. Always keep a means of communication with you.
• After an accident or collision during travel, be sure of the situation before getting out of the vehicle; many people have been kidnapped with this lure. This kind of criminal behavior is almost always accompanied by subjects who arrive at the site pretending to be authorities.
• Discover the places on the route that you use that where you can receive help for medical problems, mechanical dysfunctions or in case you suspect that you are being followed, such as health clinics, service stations, tire changers, state security organizations, etc.
• Delinquents use surprise tactics in their criminal actions; to block these actions , always be alert and continuously observe everything that happens around you so that you can detect someone who is following you or is acting suspiciously.
• Before traveling between cities, check out the security situation in the area you are visiting and travel during daylight hours.
• Don’t trust signals to stop and don’t stop driving before uniformed officers that travel in non-regulation cars or motorcycles.
• While in the city or on the road, don’t stop or pick up stranded strangers or suspicious “helpers”.
• Speak with your family about the subject of safety, invent a verifiable but fictitious story about illegal roadblocks or lightning kidnappings in rest areas.
• Don’t take shortcuts or rive on unknown roads; observe signs on the way, listen to warning and informational messages on the local radio station.
• Be more alert at traffic lights and in places where you stop or lower your speed; be careful for premeditated distractions.
In the country or rest areas:
• Don’t be routine while visiting recreation or rest areas; try to be unpredictable.
• Get to know your neighbors, know the surroundings, pathways, escape routes, possible hiding places, places where you can find refuge or support.
• Count on traditional or electronic alarm systems to be able to quickly recognize the presence of intruders.
• Establish an audio or visual communication system with your neighbors as a warning when an abnormal situation exists.
• Design a plan of action and answer for early warnings in case of emergency situations (evacuation plans, what to do in case of).
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