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NEWS: Busload of California Teens Hijacked

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posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 04:42 PM
14 teenagers and 4 adults were robbed and held at gunpoint in Guatamala. The thieves ended up stealing more than $11,000 in money and possesions.
SANTA ROSA, California (AP) -- A group of American volunteers -- most of them teenagers -- were robbed by armed men while traveling on a service project in Guatemala and released unharmed, group leaders said Saturday.

The 13 teenagers and four adults were heading to El Salvador on Friday with the Sonoma nonprofit group Seeds of Learning when their bus was hijacked, executive director Katharine Hewitt said.

The bus was south of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, when a car and a pickup carrying the five gunmen cut them off, program director Annie Bacon told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

It's sad to see that even volunteers can't be safe anywhere without worrying, even our children.

[edit on 18-7-2004 by Banshee]

posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 04:48 PM
this is sick!!!!! people or at least children should not have to experience such things. isn't anywhere safe to travel now a days???

posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 09:02 PM
Mexico is a rotten country. That is where for years young women have been being raped, tortured and murdered by being burned. The reason they can't solve the case is because the police are some of the people doing it. Corruption is a major government industry there. I would not go to Mexico myself and i would NEVER let my kids go there.

Edit here:
Sorry, my bad. Guatemala is a different country. But in Guatemala they have all sorts of atrocities commited mainly against the more indigenous portions of the population, again by para-military persons, who are probably coming from the government itself. I admit America has problems, especially now, but if you can get media attention in America the authorities usually have in the past cleaned up their acts. From Mexico south to Terra Del Fuego (sp?) [south tip of Chile], most of the governments don't even clean up their act even when the media is looking.

My worry is that the US is starting to get that way. Jeb Bush stole the last presidential election for his brother, and no one is doing anything about it. All the legislation written in Washington is written by lobbyists on 'K' street. The congresspersons don't even read them they are so long. They are 'educated' on all the good it will do by vested interests.

[edit on 20-7-2004 by slank]

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 12:16 AM
We are real.

Slank, Guatemala is not Mexico. The students were south of Quetzaltenango, over 100km from the Mexican border. Get a map. Thanks for your fanning the flames of hate though.

You read the article and make a mistake, or see latin words and feel the Mexicans did it?

[edit on 19-7-2004 by Viendin]

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 12:23 AM
In all due fairness, both countries are adjacent and both are extremely dangerous. I went backpacking for several months in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. I almost lost my life, I think it was 6 times, perhaps I will get a blog and write about it. There is some humor in the adventures...but none-the-less dangerous. But yes, both countries are extremely dangerous for traveling.

This story is nothing new, at least they weren't harmed.

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 12:30 AM
Guatemala has had problems for a while. The only surprise here is that nobody was raped and murdered.

So I guess things are getting better.

As for "fanning the flames of hate" regarding Mexico, it is true that Guatemala is not Mexico, so I'm not sure where that came from.

As for whether something like this could happen in Mexico, it really depends on where in Mexico. It's a very big country, and, like any country, some parts are safer than others. Nothing I have read here couldn't have happened in Mexico, it just didn't in this case.

But the article is not about Mexico or events in Mexico, so I suppose Viendin has some cause to be indignant (especially about the "rotten country" part). A matter of opinion, ultimately.

This could have just as easily happened in southcentral Los Angeles, for what it's worth, but a carjacking would be much more likely.

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 01:10 AM

Slank, Guatemala is not Mexico. The students were south of Quetzaltenango, over 100km from the Mexican border. Get a map. Thanks for your fanning the flames of hate though.

That's not really hateful. Granted the event occurred in Guatemala, the assessment of Mexico is still pretty accurate. It is a crime-ridden country and the police are very corrupt. When kidnappings occur, the victims are often reluctant to notify police, because the police are often in cahoots with the criminals. Politicans are bought off by drug couriers regularly, and Mexican army units are often involved in smuggling drugs across the border into the United States. It's not like these things are a secret.

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 01:11 AM
Whether or not it is at all accurate, in a thread about a problem in France, would it make sense for me to get on and talk about how bad crime gets in Amsterdam, ignoring France entirely?

I have a tendency to 'Deny Ignorance' in a very blunt and insensitive way.

It's fun while it lasts, but one day it shall be my downfall. I apologise for any inconvenience or trauma I may have caused any possible readers, their partners, affiliates, or subsidiary corporations, and wish to extend my most heartfelt condolences. Yes, I'm reading off of a 'Right Waiver' card.

[edit on 19-7-2004 by Viendin]

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 01:19 AM
No need for appology Viendin, here is an excellent report that supports what you said:

I feel it relates to the original story in that women and children are oppressed in that region.

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 01:21 AM
OMG Viendin, you're killing me. Too funny!

For those who might take you the wrong way, particularly my fellow Americans, I ask this question:

If someone were to call the U.S. a "rotten country" and expounded on heinous crimes committed in America, and how neither they nor their kids would ever go there, how would you react?

If a member has a problem with a citizen standing up for his country, the problem lies with the member, not the citizen.

Mexico and the U.S. are not identical countries, but neither of them is short of crime, either. Read the news.

Anyway, back to Guatemala.

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 02:32 AM
Heh, it isn't like I'm Mexican, I just enjoy their food. I'm a neighbour on the opposite side.

Canada! Ironically named for 'Kanata', meaning small village.

An explorer found a native, and asked what the place was called. 'Kanata' -So the nation was known as Canada. A proud part of our heritage.

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 02:37 AM

Mexico and the U.S. are not identical countries, but neither of them is short of crime, either. Read the news.

There are degrees, you know. It's not all or nothing. Mexico is a far more dangerous place than the United States. As for Guatemala, it is notorious for high crime rates.

mexican crime
American crime
Guatemala crime (uncomprehensive)

these may take a while to load

I found a website which deals with Latin America and it claims that public buses are a target for armed robbers

A recent ERRI World Sitrep report indicated that violent crime is prevalent in and around Guatemala City. Public buses have become a favorite target of well-armed gangs in the area.

Perhaps this extends to charter buses full of Americans.

There is a fairly objective answer as to how violent and dangerous a country is. Take all the jabs you want, Mexico and Guatemala are far more dangerous than the US.

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 03:53 AM
I experienced that it's quite comfortable to travel there as long as don't cloth up that good and present yourself as European or even better as German.

Seriously, I got a lot of free rides and invites when they knew I was from Germany. Their hate against Americans seems quite big and unjustified

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 04:26 AM

Seriously, I got a lot of free rides and invites when they knew I was from Germany. Their hate against Americans seems quite big and unjustified

I've never been to Guatemala. I've passed through Honduras and spent time in Costa Rica, which was probably the best country of Central America, at least what I saw in San Jose. I don't know how it's like today.

The State Dept.'s has stated before that most people who go to Guatemala don't experience violent situations. However, the State Dept. suggests that tourists don't act foolishly in that country by waving around large amounts of cash (which I wouldn't do anywhere), wearing jewelry or otherwise showing off wealth. Don't travel after sundown. Don't stay in budget motels. Things along those lines.

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