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Ecuador Crime Update

Ecuador Crime Update

Merri and I have taken thousands of people to Ecuador and rarely have they been affected by crime.  In the more than a decade and a half we lived and worked in Ecuador there only once did a pickpocket attempt to rob us.  Our properties in Naples and Lake County Florida, London, England, North Carolina have all been burgled one time (albeit in small ways) or another.  Never once in Ecuador.

Having lived and worked in dozens of countries, we do know how to arrange good security and look after ourselves.    For example we know how to dress so we look like the locals.


These hats are Bullseye for tourist criminals globally.

Wearing “gringo” clothes (fishing vests, travelers pants and travel hats like the one above) could make you a target. Ecuadorians in Quito generally dress conservatively; a pair of nice pants or dark jeans and a non-descript white/off-white t-shirt will make you look a business person who knows his way around and not a tourist carrying loot!

Ecuador has intense sun and hats are good… but need to be worn in context.  Traveler’s hats on a country exploration like this one around Lake Cuicocha are good for protection.  In the city they could act like a bullseye.

Merri and I also know where to go and avoid tourist areas.  For years, we have warned our readers to avoid Quito’s Mariscal Sucre district, even though the tourist industry aggressively markets this popular tourist area with restaurants, bars, hotels, hostels, and shopping.   This has been a dangerous area for gringos and is increasingly a site of crime.

Mariscal Sucre and all parks among other areas can be unsafe at night so taxis are advised for even short distances.  Also beware of credit card fraud, which is an increasingly serious problem in Quito as tourists are being targeted in the Mariscal area.

Yet there is crime and a good reason… a good cause that crime has been growing in Ecuador.    President Rafael Correa and other far sighted leaders wanted to emphasize a principle of “universal citizenship, free mobility of all inhabitants of the planet”.

Wow, I can really relate to this.

However… we live in a polar universe.  Our world is one of opposites and though all problems create opportunity… all silver linings also have a cloud.

The excerpt below from a Christian Science Monitor article entitled “Ecuador: easy base for terrorists and criminals?” by Geoffrey Ramsey takes a look at how this good social change has helped organized crime in Ecuador.

The article says: The Ecuadorean Constitution calls for ‘universal citizenship,’ granting free mobility – with or without a passport. But lax regulations are raising fears of easy access for terrorists or organized crime.   

Allegations that Ecuador’s lax immigration policies make it a strategic asset to terrorist organizations like al Qaeda are overblown, overshadowing the real danger: that the country is emerging as a hotspot for transnational organized crime.

Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa was voted into office in 2006 on promises of wide-ranging reforms, vowing to push forward a constitutional referendum. The move was passed by referendum in 2007, and Ecuador adopted a new constitution in 2008. But while Correa has embraced the progressive charter’s guarantees of social and economic rights like access to clean water, education, and universal health care, not all of the document’s reforms have played out so well.

Perhaps the most contentious was Article 416, which declares that Ecuador “upholds the principle of universal citizenship, free mobility of all inhabitants of the planet and the gradual end to the condition of foreigner as transforming element of unequal relations amongst countries, especially North-South.”

Correa initially supported the initiative with enthusiasm, calling for an end to “those 20th century inventions, passports and visas.” However, it soon provoked a huge influx of migrants from regions such as Southeast Asia and East Africa, many of whom used Ecuador as a stepping stone to enter the United States or Brazil.

The real security threat in Ecuador lies in the heightened profile of organized crime in the country.

Fortunately Ecuador’s government is responding.

Hotelier and promoter of Ecuador archeology, Patricio Tamariz, explains.  Patricio helps the Ateam Ecuador in Bahia de Caraquez and his hotel provides discounts to Ecuador Living Club members.

Learn how to become an Ecuador Living club member and save on hotels across Ecuador.

Good news! At a meeting recently held at the Ministry of Tourism, it appears that the Ministry will be working with one of the world’s leading tourism security experts, Dr. Peter E. Tarlow.

Dr. Tarlow has a world-wide reputation and has worked across Latin America on tourism security issues. 

Tarlow has made several trips to Ecuador. 

I, Patricio Tamariz, have worked hard to bring Dr. Tarlow and his team to Ecuador where they will use Bahia de Caraquez/ San Clemente/San Jacinto/San Vicente and Canoa area (Cantones Sucre y San Vicente as a pilot project.  

We hope that this pilot project will result in a national tourism security plan.  Tarlow will be working under the leadership of the Ministry of Tourism with the full cooperation of the local authorities.

Tarlow has participated in the training of police at several Olympic Games and is currently working with the Brazilian police in preparation for the World Cup Games and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Tarlow has advised US agencies such as the Department of the Interior, the US National Park’s Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.  Tarlow has appeared on national television and radio programs in the US, write a monthly electronic newsletter on tourism and is a member of several university faculties.  You can learn more about him Tralow’s website at the link below.

Wherever you travel and even at home…. be alert.   Crime is everywhere and we all need to make security a part of our lives.  When we accept our safety as part of our own personal responsibility… rather than the government’s, we can lead a safe comfortable life wherever we may be.


Patricio Tamariz and Bo Rinaldi recently published the book The Secret of Paradise, The Mysteries of the Pacific Coast of Ecuador

ecuador pacific book

One way to earn enough in Ecuador is to write to sell.

Below is an excerpt from our online course “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher” which teaches how to  write to sell wherever you live.

The ideas behind all the marketing strategies this course will review are:

#1: Build a list.

#2: Create a simple message focused to that list.

#3: Use the list to kick start spreading the word.

The two driving forces in our marketing strategy are:

#1: Build the list with “Niche Pay Per Click”.

#2: Focus the list with “Authenticity”.

The key to our successful self publishing is our list and we use Pay Per Click to keep adding new names to our list.

Using Pay Per Click successfully requires three steps.

#1: Keep campaigns focused on a niche.  If you try to expand your niche too broadly it is hard to remain authentic and unique.  The John Locke case study below shows a good example of the importance of focus.  Locke created a strategy that pushed his sales from 63 copies in September 2010 to 369,115 copies in March 2011.

He was the first self publisher to have 1 million Kindle downloads. This attracted attention of big publishers but Locke refused to have his books published by big publishers.

Merri and I decided to focus on “International Micro Business” and “Funky Micro Business”  because the focus of “Small Business”  “Micro Business” or “Funky Business” were all very competitive phrases.  We decided to be known as the people who can help readers create a “Funky Micro Business” and an “International Micro Business”.

Any pay per click campaign we launch for our International Business Made EZ online course will include words “international” or “funky”.

#2: Keep the sales page (also called the squeeze page or landing page) focused to the phrases in the campaign.  If I were creating a pay per click campaign for Funky Micro Business, I would be sure that readers would click onto a sales story about how to benefit from a funky micro businesses and nothing else.   Though we have a focus on multi currency investing and Ecuador and natural health… nothing about these products would appear in the funky micro business sales page.

#3: Tie both the campaign and sale page into a thematic string that leads to a main message and website. The focus in our Ecuadorliving.com Pay Per Click campaign provides a good example.

First, our campaign is about Ecuador Living… not just Ecuador.  This campaign is zeroed in on North Americans and Europeans looking to live in Ecuador.   All the phrases in the campaign are related to problems and opportunities for potential expats and investors in Ecuador.

Our Ecuador pay per click campaign is not geared to Ecuador tourists for example.

The sales page here is self explanatory.  See how it leads readers to our website and the FREE Ecuador handbook.

The focus of the sales page is a thread that sews together the focus of the pay per click ad and leads to getting the reader to order FREE  Ecuador Handbook

This is where our work really begins to let the reader get to know and trust us and to see the ways we can help.

The Ecuador Handbook is just the first step. Then we send a FREE email about Ecuador to the reader every day.  The goal of the email is to “in some little way make the reader’s life better”.

End of Excerpt

Learn how to get the online course “Self Fulfilled” for $299

Attend our Writers Camp and receive “Self Fulfilled How to be a Writer and Publisher” free. Save $299

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A Christian Science Monitor article “Ecuador: easy base for terrorists and criminals?

Dr. Peter E. Tarlow website www.tourismandmore.com