Thugs attack my wife in Managua

We had a bad experience crossing the street in Managua in front of Pizza Hut. Two big men in their early 30's jumped my wife from behind and tried to take her purse. They were so big that they broke her leg in two places. When I heard her scream I turned around and saw them on top of her and I charged them. Fortunately they didn't have any weapons and they ran off. The police came by on a motorcycle and slowed down to see what happened and then sped off. A passing ambulance took us to Vivian Pellas Hospital and my wife had a rod implanted in her tibia and two screws to hold it in place. They did a great job. We don't know yet what the soft tissue damage is going to be but it is going to be a long healing process. I lived in Guatemala for 10 winters and Honduras for three and thought that Nicaragua was going to be safer.

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Differing experiences in Managua

Let me start by saying that I hope your wife is feeling better and how sorry I am to hear this happened to you. I am new to this site and wanted to share my recent experiences in Nicaragua. My wife and I as well as two other couples recently returned from Nica where we spent an incredible 10 days, staying in the Gigante area but travelling extensively while there. We spent our first night in Managua. in the Metro Centro area and we felt quite safe and were, the closest we had to any kind of trouble was with children begging, touching etc. possibly bracing us for pickpocketing. Within two blocks of this behaviour a police officer appeared and escorted the children away. That being said we also spent our last night in Managua in a different neighbourhood, at the Crowne Plaza. Before going further, a little about myself, I am a correctional officer in a maximum security prison, have been for 11 years, so I feel that I have a fairly fine tuned "spidey sense", in fact it has saved me a number of times. When we decided to go out walking as we did our first night we went as far as the plaza across the street, my spidey sense was not happy, even my brother felt uncomfortable so we returned to the hotel and enjoyed the pool, where I met a fellow Canadian. He had been in Nica for about 2 years on an engineering project so was no neophite to the city. He told us we were smart to stay in as the night previous he had attended a bar around the corner and was "pocket swarmed", no violence but no defence either, main thing is he was ok. I guess my point is just like in any city you have to use your head, think about where you are and realize that one are is not the same as the other, that is true of any city I have ever been to. I actually felt safer in Nica than any place I have been. Heck even in our gated community where we rented our house someone went through our luggage and lifted $400 US while we were at the beach, but took nothing else. That being said our local property managers actually came good for the money, I have never had that happen anywhere else in the world I have been. A coworker of my wife's has a small resort in nirthern Nicaragua and he told us he has had no problems in the six years he has been there. I think Nicaragua is great and can't wait to get back there and maybe one day even retire there. BTW the fake wallet is an awesome idea, i was carrying a pocketful of cordoba coins and threw them in the air when the kids would push too hard.

I like your comment

I like your comment and I am glad you had a good experience in Nicaragua. You are welcome to come back.

Best Regads

Paul Tiffer

Thanks, can't wait to get

Thanks, can't wait to get back.


i was robbed in my home 6 months ago by 3 guys with guns-they beat me and tied me up and stole about $5000-i got my cell records from moviestar-my cell phone was stolen-all the calls after my robbery were made to the managua police station so it was cops from managua-i was set up-it was cops pure and simple so don't call the police-i sleep with a shot gun and 2 pistols and moved to a more secure location so now if it happens again-the police are the last people i will call but i still love this country

Hey Tucker.. Just

Hey Tucker..

Just saying...what would you do if a similar episode recurred?

Shoot (and kill) the feckers?

...and then given a pat at the back by the police?

Or be taken to the cleaners big time by la policia?

or worse ...jailtime..It seems that the cure is worse than the disease

Or a Police Informant calling in.

Your GF was (is?) a cop from the Atlantic coast right? Strange goings on in the land of the NQR.


yes-my former girl friend was a cop from puerto cabezas-she is suspect for sure-in my last conversation with her after the robbery -she said it was cops-i don't know-as for as a police informant-he had to have my phone 5 minutes after the robbery when the calls were made-the chip was thrown out on the masaya hi-way and later confiscated by the police in granada-never to be given back to me-i went to the managua police dept with another witness and the investigating officer and identified one of the thieves outside of the police dept-he was arrested and i brought him back to granada-uncuffed-sitting behind me in my car while my cop slept in the front seat-he languished in jail out on the nandaime hi-way -put on trial and let go even with 2 witnesses against him-it was an experience and i'm just happy to be alive-i have had lots of trauma over this incident and just now am able to talk about it-after many visits to psychologists-i realize that i'm just lucky to be alive-every nica that i was friends with before is suspect and not my friend anymore-i'm careful who i let in my house-all of this is a mystery to me and i'll probably never know-i did end paying the cops lots of money-the investigators would come by my house saying that they needed money to continue the investigation-i flew back from the states especially for the trial-all for naught-the trial was a sham-all the friends and family were there glaring at me like it was my fault-the other 2 were identified and never captured-hopefully there will not be a next time but if there is-I WILL NOT CALL THE COPS

pocoyo 2011

sorry for those i offended with my childish comments, certainly i would not take pride in killing a person , taking someone"s life is not justified unless you are doing it for self defense or when your life is at risk, ...


You also are wrong with....

You should include or apologize for your other comment "in managua to steal is a way of life , god everytime i go to managua" I can assure you in Managua as in the rest of the country we work for leaving. Crimes are around the world over and statists says Nicaragua is the safety country in Central America, ... if you don´t trust in Statistics, check the Honduran, Guatemalan or from El Salvador Newspapers or talk with someone who live in Costa Rica ... they don´t show it in newspaper to keep the image.

Paul Tiffer

Honestly I don't understand

Honestly I don't understand all the fear and loathing of Managua!!!

I know many would find it quite shocking to hear someone say this but I actually LIKE Managua! I am out and about every day here and have not had the first problem. Now it could happen to me tomorrow, I am well aware of that, but so far I have been out night and day in various neighborhoods both poor and not-so-poor and it has been a lot less frightening than some of my encounters in big cities across the USA.

live in mga..

near tica bus..been here for 6 yrs..walk all the time..never had any trouble..and i walk a lot..

Yes, and many others think like you too.

My wife would freak when I went up there with my laptop in my backpack, cab from Huembes to the printers and often walk back to the market. It could be just a numbers game but victims can look like one, we have all seen them waiting to happen.

In Mexico I was told to walk upright, with a sense of purpose with just enough confidence yet not cocky.

I tend to purposely make eye contact with someone who I think may be a potential thief. They are sizing me up so I look at them back. A bit of a blue steel look. There is something about the auto suggestion that because I have looked at him, made eye contact, maybe nodded or raised a brow, the whole world knows what he was thinking. Its all in his head of course, but it can work. A little voodoo like perhaps but they know at at that point they don't have the element of surprise and that could be enough to make em pass on you.


Dios mio! That blue steel, voodoo look of yours probably leaves casual pedestrians disoriented. You must leave 'em clinging to walls & poles and leaning on parked cars as you walk around SJdS, unless you kindly cover such a vaunted weapon with shades.

You've seen my bio pic...

The girls get the steel blue, with a touch of electricity...(not the blue steel).

As you can see in the pic, it works rather well.

Yep, eye contact and an "I've made you, pick someone else"

...look seems to be useful any where.

Rebecca Brown


well that could happen anywhere, sadly it happen to you in nicaragua and in managua, everytime i go to managua i treat everybody the same i am always alert, and on a defensive mode, ready to kill anyone, i dont really care if is an old lady a hot chick or a lilttle kid, in managua to steal is a way of life , god everytime i go to managua i have my smith and wesson governor ready to be fired, i want to be muged an take the pride to kill a mother fucker , im still waiting.

Hey Pocoyo2011...what happened to the guy in your Bio?

The one that was Born in Nicaragua, raised in Florida, loves nature, helping others and making a difference in this sad world.

"In managua to steal is a way of life" ....Really, No honest people there at all eh?......

i know juanno

sorry about that juanno i wanted to get a message accross, i did not come out right , sorry ,

It is a shame

Hello, it is a shame you and your wife were in a situation like that, the true is crime are around the world over, however Managua is a busy city that is way there are more than small and nice cities in Nicaragua.

As you said "Fortunately they didn't have any weapons and they ran off" ,that is the difference, in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvaror the guns are use first to assault anybody according with the newspapers and criminal rates

Because this comment is under home security, is connected with my comment regarding the importation of guns, However I don´t recommend buy and use guns for people without the expertise, specially out of a house.-

My personal advice in a situation like this one, to my wife is do not force with a thief because can be armed and use it, no one wants to live a nightmare like this one.

I hope your wife is going better.

Best Regards

Paul Tiffer Attorney at Law


First, if the crooks are at all bright and experienced, they will have the element of surprize. This is not good. If you are the unarmed victem of an armed attack, your best option is to flee if at all posible. if not, another strategy is throw your wallet at them and run in the other direction. On a recent trip to Managua, for the first time in 40 years of travel in Latin america I carried a dummy wallet (some misc. stuff and a big wad of 20 cord notes. I just added to this wallet a canceled credit card). Didn`t happen to need it this trip, but it is going with me to managua on all future trips. What little cash and other stuff with me is hidden elsewhwere. My cell phone is a $30 model and is in my pocket, not in a belt holder.

Ditto on Paul`s comments on use of a gun--get training, hope you never need to use it in your own home, and try real hard not to use it in public--there are just too many things that can go wrong. But, if your back is to the wall and your life is in danger, use it well--shoot him to the ground.

Don`t mean to change the subject as Nicaragua is a horribly crime-ridden country (especially for poor Nicaraguans) La Gringa`s Blogicito has been running some articles on Honduras, the most dangerous country in the world, with an unarmed people, and a useless government and police force.

``The government is clearly Marxist. The question is whether it is Karl or Groucho``

Kung Fu..MF

and shame on you. Defend yourself or stay home. Or at leat know where you are and look around. Baltimore or MGA. Or in impolite terms, sorry you wife was hurt, but take some (or most) of the responsibility.ZZT

Expect NOTHING from the police

I was robbed, in my apartment, from someone i knew for 2 years. She put something in my drink and cleaned house, to the tune of $2600. From the arresting officers to the investigator, to the Colonol of the local police station EVERY cop wanted a bribe or would do nothing. She was arrested with the drugs in her purse, i had witnesses that saqw her comming and leaving with a large bag, I was told to indentify her, two days i waited with a friend and NOTHING> The investigator came and went came and went ,nothing. He told me to get a lawyer and meet him the following day (this is important). We returned with a lawyer to "continue the process. She was released the night before. My lawyer said under Nica law they can only hold a suspect for a max of 48 hours before release if no evidence is presented They had ALL they needed. I asked WHY were they protecting the robber and not me. He said she was a sandinista. EXpect NO ustice from the police. My lawyer did tell me he would have some guys break her legs with a bat, for 500 cord each, but i declined. All said and done it cost me 500 cord for the lawyer, 100 cord for the police comander, and lunch twice for the investigator, plus 100 cord for his cell (to make calls about my case he said, And 150 cord to the arresting officers for "gas".

I'd Say Why

pay the lawyer 500 cords, break her legs yourself, save the $50, --- unless you don't already own a bat.

Bat prices in the US have become unreasonable:

Where did this happen? In all fairness the perp would probably not even have been arrested in the US, absent more compelling evidence than you describe in the post. This becomes the classic "he said -- she said".

Every household should have a bat. I'd go mano a mono (typo is intentional) with a bat against a machete any time -don't have to kill the intruder to permanently discourage him from pursuing his life of crime. One well placed tap and he'll walk sideways and drool out of whichever corner of his mouth you choose.

Are bats manufactured in Nicaragua?

enough was there.......

The police found white residue in the bottom of my glass, and sent it to a lab to analize it. She approached my neighbor, who worked in a hotel, in metro centro,with here plan to rob a tourist there, bu putting something in his drink, said she'd split the money with him. She didnt remember talking to him the week before at my apartment. He called the police, and me. She was arrested with the drug in her purse, in a little plastic envelope. I'm assuming the same white powder she used on me. When i knew her she workred at a little tiendra, now i'm assuming shes a common street whore. Two neighbors gave statements to the police they saw her enter my apartment, and later the door close. I always leave the door open . the guard who patrolled the neighborhood gave the police a statement he saw her leave my apartment about 10 at night with a large bag under her arm. I woke 16 hours later and was still groggy until the next day. The police mentioned i looked like i still had effect of the the drug. Shouldnt take much of an investigator to complete the investigation. They said they released her because the wintess statements wernt "complete", the investigator did the interview. Bottom line, if the perp is a sandinista, expect NO help from the police. NONE. No matter how much we try to assemilate into Nica culture, you will ALWAYS be just the gringo. Thats it.

that's typical

in most cases. Good police/legal work is the exception.

Attack on wife...

Sorry to hear of your misfortunes. Currently I sit in the United States and, considering where I want to live, I read about these things happening all over the world. Sadly, they seem to happen as much here as anywhere else. I have lived in Honduras and spent time in Nicaragua and felt MUCH safer in Nicaragua. My conclusion is it has as much to do with how we present ourselves as anything else. I know areas in Miami you certainly wouldn't want to walk through, day or night. Best of luck in Nicaragua.


We are all saddened by the attack upon you and your wife. Our thoughts and prayers are with you two.

It sounds a little insenitive (not my intent) but could you counsel us on what you guys would have done differently?

MN Hacienda Iguana, Tola, Rivas SKYPE: QWLCrew

Thugs in Managua

It is interesting to see that some people think this is somehow my fault. And I guess it is since I chose to visit Nicaragua. I have really thought it over and am going to put my quinta on the market and stay in the USA. This was one close call too many for me. I had a shotgun to my head once in Guatemala and my wife was robbed in a Managua bus a few years ago with a knife at her throat. The injuries that my wife sustained this rime are serious and I just consider there is too great a risk of something even worse happening. I had a few good years in Nicaragua and I content with that.

ahh man.......

Not to minimize what happened to you,because it was serious, and the effects will linger long after your beloved has healed from the injury of the attack. i was robbed once by gunpoint, in a walmart parking lot, in anniston alabama, in a chevy chevette, not quite the mark of a rich victim .Put pistol to my head, and shoved me across my seat and slowly cocked the hammer, taunting me... yeah. but i still go to walmart. Having some woman slip me a mickey is no comparison to what you've both gone through, but, in both our stuations we'd NEVER let the same happen to us again. You no doubt are alot more aware of whats going on around you than before. We all become complacent, relaxed in Nicaragua, and let our guard down, when maybe we shouldnt. Not all Nicas are bad. But its the few we encounter, and hear about that might change how we think. More often than not ,if i get a bad feeling i go with it. In a bar i leave, Doesnt have to be anything wrong, but some things you can feel, and it isnt right. Go with that. I liked the thread about the "drop wallet" makes sence.

only one

Only one person made the comment that you were at fault. His flawed logic, bad taste, and lack of concern was obvious to all, that`s why nobody bothered to comment.

Criminals are respònsible for their criminal actions. If there is any secondary responsibility, it is with governments that coddled and protect criminals. Crossing the street in front of a popular restaurant is in no way irresponsible on your part.

There is a risk here of criminal attack that is far greater than in nice areas of the US. It`s good this site exists and people like you remind us of the risks. And remind us of the hype by some people on this site about how safe Nicaragua is. Safer than some, more dangerous than others, but by no means safe. Compared to Mohave County AZ, which is by no means the pinacle or Anglo-American society, I would guess ones chance of getting robbed in Nic. is between 10 and 50 TIMES the chance there. That includes armed robbery, not just burglary. The chance of getting killed here is probably only a couple time as high as there.

When you know the risk you can make and informed decision, and take the best precautions you can devise. I hope your wife recovers well.

``The government is clearly Marxist. The question is whether it is Karl or Groucho``

Read it again..

I did not say he was at fault. I said he should feel some responsibility. Big difference, but I know nuances are lost on many here. If you are with someone in a place that is likely to be dangerous to some degree more than normal( as is obvious as these guys jumped her) and not in a position to help (as he obviously wasn't) before she got hurt i guess one could say that you could take some responsibility.

I did not say he was at fault, excuse the bad guys, or that he should commit Hari-Kari over it. And, my comment came long after the thread went off that to the subject of defending yourself and was as much in the context of that as the original one. You do have some responsibility to protect yourself with #1 common sense, #2 evasive actions, #3 defensive measure if needed. I know we live in a PC world, but a guy who is with his girlfriend/wife should take some responsibility for their safety. Actually, where I come from (and in a different day) if she had been a guy and I was with her on the street and this had happened, the other guy would man-up and take some responsibility.

As for your stats...try that in Baltimore, Newark or E. St Louis and worse things would have happened. They would of had guns and that would be that.

You sum it up well..."when you know the risk...." Well he is a seasoned CA traveler, maybe he should take some responsibility for knowing that kind of obviously do. So there we are back at the responsibility part again....ZZT

Well Said

However, the part pertaining to stats/examples I think only applies to the U.S. Not for instance speaking to and on behalf of Canadians, et al., especially seniors. you make an excellent point regarding risk. Nicaragua.. and I would add most places in Central America are great places to visit, too risky in comparison to other choices, to live in on a long term basis.

That is one of the differences

between a tourist and a resident. a tourist is here for a short time, has a limited amount of valuables in his suitcase, and has an unpredicable schedule. A resident accumulates stuff, is visible forever, and has more predictable actions, the perfect combination for a crime. It`s like the local merchants here in Esteli. Recently, one was pistol whipped and robbed of usd 3000 in his own home. Well, damned if you do, damned if you don`t because one of the other common crimes here is people being robbed going to or from the bank. Good reason to not own a business unless you have armed security 24/7 and a backup plan.

``The government is clearly Marxist. The question is whether it is Karl or Groucho``

Speedy recovery

wow, no clue on how another person can think it was your fault!! But you find these types of people on all public forums, you just learn to ignore them. Hope for a speedy recovery. I have been told to expect the unexpected here--areas where you think it is safe tend not to be and one gets a false sense of security at times as their appears to be guards everywhere, but often they are in on it. All the best

can't for the life of me see that you were in any way at fault

Very sorry to hear about the attack on your wife and, for what it's worth, I can't for the life of me see that you were in any way at fault. There are however a few self righteous morons on this forum, who have nothing better to do with their pathetic lives than to criticize others! Hope you will reconsider your decision to leave Nicaragua.

All the best. Goran Bockman

A horse! A kingdom for a horse!

Hope your wife gets better.

Hope your wife gets better.


Horrible news, hope for a fast and complete, both physically n mentally, recovery!!!!

I am very sorry to hear

I am very sorry to hear about this incident. It can be a difficult recovery. Can you give more information about the attack? What time of day was it and where was the Pizza Hut? I am only familiar with the one close to the Metrocenter shopping center. Thank you for sharing this with everyone, it will definitely influence my trips into the city.

Very sorry to hear when

Very sorry to hear when these things happen, a terrible invasion of privacy not to mention the injuries sustained to your wife. Reminder in all these countries that it is always best not to carry purses, wearing jewellery, watches, cell phones on belt clips etc, that exposes yourself to these thugs. Has happened to ourselves in Costa Rica.

Hope it is a fast recovery!!

Hope it is a fast recovery!! Keep an eye out for infection!!

sorry to hear..

about u and ure wife..hope she has no perminent damage to her leg..crime can happen anywhere

That was an experience you don't need again

Must have been terrifying for both of you. And oh yeah..crime can happen anywhere. also can happen more than once in someplaces.

Sorry to hear about your wife.

Good thing is you had the financial means to get her fixed up, many don't. Its another reminder that our lives can change on a moments notice. We can only plan for and prevent it up to a point and still be able to enjoy life itself.