Armed Robbery on Bus from Tortuguero to Cariari, Costa Rica

Bus was Robbed

A bus from Tortuguero to Cariari was Robbed this week

There was an Armed Robbery on a Bus from Tortuguero to Cariari at about 1:20 PM local time on Wednesday September 16.

I was on a public bus for the hour-long drive from the port at Tortuguero, Costa Rica, to Cariari, another small town that serves as a connection point for buses to San Jose.

As we came around a turn in the road, I heard what sounded like a balloon pop from the front area of the bus. This sound was followed by several more popping noises and the din of men shouting, and then the bus came to a sudden halt.

Suddenly, five men wearing ski masks and three carrying machine guns, and one each carrying a pistol and a knife boarded the bus and demanded money from the passengers. They also removed certain bags from the bus, including my daypack. One passenger resisted, and the bandits hit him in the head with a gun, but otherwise no one was seriously injured.

When the bandits were through with their work, they fired several more shots into the air as they escaped into the banana fields. The entire incident lasted about five minutes. The bus then continued for another 20 minutes or so until we found a roadside establishment and phoned the police.

The police in Cariari were useless, and sent us to the OIJ office in Guapiles, where they took a report, but did not even ask us for contact information.

Some locals on the bus suspected that the driver was a con-conspirator and was acting suspicious.

Article submitted by Jeff Jordan

Editors Note: Costa Rica is one of the safest countries in the world. Things like this are very distrubing and we are glad no one was hurt.

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  1. Many latino policemen happens to be the more criminal than people in general, as they are vilely left to look after their own moral.

    My best friend has been paying black money 4 times in Costa Rica to road police in return for the right to go on driving without problems in the years 2006 -2009 no other people in Costa Rica had ever charged him such kind of tickets

  2. John Kohne says:

    I can’t believe that someone has not organized a citizens brigade to defend themselves. Even a dog gets tired of being kicked around and will defend himself. Hell organize into a neighborhood watch soft of thing take pictures of a crime being committed and demand that the judges do something. Picket the court’s , after a while something will happen. Maybe it will get enough international attention that they will have to do something to save face.I know this isn’t the USA or Canada.

  3. Petition Chinchilla to bring in the Kaibiles — many are out of work, refused to take jobs from Mexican druglords (so those still looking for work are usually the most honorable), and coming from low-GDP Guate they’ll appreciate it. If ICJ rules against Nicaragua’s border project (AND Nica’s are senseless enough to re-elect Ortega), CR might need Kaibiles assistance against more than just some disorganized bandits (or might need assistance from US military, etc); Kaibiles are some of the world’s most-effective Commie-killers & Ortega has anti-Bolivarian Honduras & Sombra Negra irregulars to his north (plus Brit troops in BZE but the Guatemalans might refuse to work with them): Ortega is crazy if he wants a real war under those conditions, the only way he could win is if Chavez/Correa/Castro jumped in to rescue his weak @55, then of course (as we and ALBA both know), if Chavez/Correa/Castro go to war then Colombia/Peru AND US/UK will almost certainly ALL jump in and it’s a wide-scale regional war, so… :-)

    …just be sure a “recall election” is constitutionally plausible — so Chinchilla’s ilk knows they can be kicked out of office in disgrace, if they’re non-responsive to people’s concerns about crime. (and war with Ortega is unlikely: first see how ICJ mediation & the Nica 2011 election turn out.)

  4. Jason Schneck says:

    Just went there to see a friend who has lived there for 3 plus years from the U.S. I was there for a little over two months. Towards the end of my trip, I definatley wouldn’t call it a vacation. It was more of a reality check!!! I said to him why does every one keep saying Pura Vida… because I saw very little of that. As far as asking for help from the so called Police there, that is nothing more then a JOKE???? Like he said the whole time. There so lazy,nor do they care they don’t want to do the paper work. But I’ll assure you if you get caught doing something illegal, all you have to do is pay them some money, and you walk away. That all sounds good, but what if you are in need of help, I mean serious help. There is no help or protection, if you think about it for a second. That is a very scarey and most of all helpless feeling. The goverment really does need to get a handle on this situation ASAP. Because negativity spreads like a fire without even putting gas on a fire!!!

  5. Usually when I have visited CR, I always pack heat, I’m ex military and spend many years stationed in Panama and I know what’s going on there, I have many friends cops there in CR and even them told me what the justice system in CR is, nothing. So protect your self always

  6. Jerry Johns says:

    Well,few months ago,I wrote on a board about bringing my personal firearms to CR.Which consists of a 7M.M. remington rifle,12 ga. Winchester shotgun, and a 9 M.M. semi-automatic pistol. Evidently, I must have hit a website which was loaded with bleeding heart liberals.You wouldnt believe the responses,”You need to leave those guns in the US” “We dont need killers down here” and the ad nauseum goes on.
    If you never stand up the the bully,the bully wont leave you alone.
    Just my Dos Centavos

  7. I live in Costa Rica in Guapiles. I know the system and have many friends who are judges and lawyers.
    The fact is that our “gringo’ idea of what ia criminal is does not exsist in Costa Rica. In the USa we call 911, something happens, and the person if caught is arrested, warants are issued and its in the hands of the courts.
    Here in Costa Rica, that manner does not exsist. One has to find the person, the person has to have evidence that the criminal has there belongings ie original receipts of the item. It may take a judge 4 to 12 months to get the court order. In the meantime the criminal is free on a very loose bond. This is culture of talking your way out of everythng and not showing any accountability for anything,
    We gringos are scared of the IRS, scared of a traffic cop, answer to the police if they call us.. here, FORGET IT .
    To enjoy Costa Rica you have to calm down, travel with little money,,,but not too little cause they will shoot you for being “limpio” (clean). and look st the cup half full, cause we live pretty peacoful for not have any law an order.

  8. Deb Cabral says:

    Sorry to hear that this happened Jeff….Your point that some people felt the bus driver was acting suspicious and could have been a co conspirator should be investigated and reported to the police. Peoples gut feelings are usually right….

  9. Douger says:

    Then I suggest you Ticos get off you wimpy little butts and demand that your crap government do something other than build roads to nowhere, stadiums, and new airports which will eventually destroy your country.

    You need to quit pampering your children and bash them in the mouth when needed and lock them away when they perform criminal acts.

    Keep being the way you are and you will be just like el Salvador and Guatemala.
    No more Pura Vida, no more ” Tranquilo” Face the facts and do something about it.

  10. Gladis says:

    These incidents sadden and scare me because the crime that goes unpunished is the one mark on this otherwise great country, I travel there a lot and always feel I have to be so aware and careful with my belongings which puts a damper on my enjoyment, I have never been subjected to any crime and I know that these types of crimes exist in my own country but to know that nothing is beeing done is what would make me upset, is there anything we the regular traveler and resident can do?

  11. Mynor says:

    Precisely because we have a Nobel Prize president is why this is happening … Costa Rica’s President (Oscar Arias) is far more concerned about solving Honduras problems than dealing with the fast-growing-out-of-control insecurity … this sort of incident is happening on a daily basis, not only Costaricans are targeted but also visitors. Sorry to admit it (I’m a hardcore Costarican, visit 3-4 times a year and have all my family there and I’m always ready to put the word for my Costa Rica where I live and where I go in the World but we Costaricans have to take a stand and fight for security… I don’t give a dam about what happens to Honduras IF the security in my home country is being jeopardized! The person who wrote the article should take the issue to the local newspapers (Nacion and even Extra) to get more attention to this incident (so sorry it happened to you).

  12. This is just sad, the real issue is that the people that does this kind of actions arent CostaRicans, are from Nicaragua or Colombia, because its natural thing to do there, with all the respect… i feel sorry that this episodes happen in my home land…

  13. Ana C. Arce Roldan says:

    I am mad as hell…!!! This is a beautiful Country…! Most of our people are kind and have a good heart, but there are, way to many criminals out there, most of them are not even “ticos” Our government needs to change the laws ASAP, it is really sad, that we the honest and decent citizen must live behind bars, and the criminals own the streets of most Costa Rica. It is time for us to get together and force the government to put more GOOD AND HONEST policeman,to make sure the criminals stay were they belong ‘BEHIND BARS FOR GOOD’ TO GET REAL….Viva siempre el trabajo y la paz…

  14. Tommy says:

    Excuse me.

  15. Tommy says:

    Need a bodyguard? email me.

  16. Carlos Bolanos says:

    I am so angry this things can happen in Costa Rica, my home country. Where the government has the nobel peace, president,
    which is not doing anything with this situation, that continues happening not only in remote areas but all over the country.
    I guess they don’t care anymore about the economy of our country,
    because one of the first income of the country is tourism.
    Costa Rica, will be loosing so much, if something is not done right now with this situation. I don’t feel safe anymore also, going back to my own country Costa Rica, where the adds keep saying is the
    the nicest and safest country in the world.

  17. Shirley Critchleys says:

    Why am I not surprised? Not about the robbery but about the police lack of response. Theives know the police and know they will not be caught. And if they are caught, they will be released… This is Costa Rica and we have no other choice than get used to it. Pura Vida!

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