Twenty-one tourists were robbed by armed and hooded men inside a Cartagena hostel early Monday morning. The victims complain there has been no response from local authorities whatsoever.
According to one of the foreign guests, the robbery took place Monday morning at 4AM when most of the guests were asleep.
“Hooded men, around seven of them, arrived armed with guns and knives. The tied us down and took cameras, cell phones, passports, clothes, money, anything of value they could find,” Argentinean Maria Marta told local newspaper El Universal.
The robbers inspected the hotel to make sure all guests were in the same room before locking up the victims, Marta said. According to her, the whole incident lasted an hour.
Following the massive robbery, the tourists – of French, Venezuelan, Argentinean and Italian nationality – say they have not seen or heard anything from the local authorities.
El Universal tried to contact the manager of the Media Luna hostel, but was told he was not available.
A government official told the newspaper that Cartagena authorities have started contacting the victims’ embassies to secure their return to their home countries. The city in the meantime will pay for the tourists’ food and lodging, he stressed.
The tourists will leave Colombia with great disappointment, they say. “I never imagined this would happen to us in Cartagena, by far the most touristic city of this country, especially in a place two blocks away from the Puerta del Reloj [Clock Gate] where there is supposedly a security system that guarantees the tranquility of the tourists,” the victim said.
The robbery came on the same day that the National Police sent 270 extra police officers to the coastal city following a wave of violence in the city in the first weeks of January.