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Getting arrested at gunpoint in Managua was not on my "To Do" list when I visited Nicaragua, but it became my most vivid memory of the country.
I was walking along one of the major streets of Managua, taking pictures of just about everything I saw, when I was suddenly apprehended at gunpoint by a soldier pointing a very large and angry looking gun at my belly. In a deadly serious tone he informed me that I was under arrest for taking pictures of a military installation, which is strictly "Prohibido." I had just taken a single snapshot of the entrance to the Nicaraguan national naval headquarters.
The soldier marched me across a busy street and to a little hut in front of the naval headquarters from which two other soldiers with equally big guns were watching. The three soldiers knew no English and my own Spanish is limited so conversation was difficult. I asked for an interpreter but was refused. They said this was Nicaragua and only Spanish was allowed. I was further informed that my camera was being confiscated as evidence and that someone was on their way to take me to jail.
After about fifteen very tense minutes of explanation I tried to tell the men that I was only a tourist taking pictures of their beautiful country and had not intentionally broken the law. At long last, they agreed to let me go, but first I had to eliminate the offending photo from my camera while they watched - still holding me at gunpoint - and then they asked me to pay a fee of $5 in American dollars. I gladly paid the bribe, thanked the gentlemen profusely, and quickly left the premises.
Updated Jun 30, 2008
when u go to the bus stops make sure u have no fancy stuff on or anything that make u look that ur from somewhere else because if u do gangs or robbers might kill u just to get wat they want so b CAREFUL !!!!! and dont walk alone cuz they will get u
Written May 14, 2008
The barrios in Managua were caution is much advised are the following barrios; Renee Schick, Jorge Dimitrov, La Fuente, San Judas, Villa Venezuela, Batahola, Las Americas, BEllo Amanecer, Vida Nueva, Los Pescadores, Domitila Lugo, Santana, and Hialeah. Also, the walk from the hospedajes of Barrio Martha Buezad and the Plaza International should be advoided after dark.
Written Jan 5, 2004
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