ICANN has published a security guide for delegates planning to attend its meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, this December, which makes quite entertaining reading.
A highlight of the report (pdf), prepared by outside consultants Control Risks, warns attendees to steer clear of bar prostitutes who plan to take advantage of them.
All travelers should avoid bars which have public touts (or “spruikers”) standing outside encouraging them to enter. Many of these bars attract high levels of local prostitutes, some who intend to rob tourists by drugging them in the bar or in their hotel rooms.
The report also recommends staying off the streets after 11pm, using official taxis, keeping your wallets clean of identifying information, and not resisting muggers/abductors.
Fight for your life, but not your possessions.
I’m cherry-picking the scary stuff here, obviously. In general, the report says Cartagena is fairly safe. Last year, there were only two kidnappings in the city.
Cartagena enjoys a mostly deserved reputation as one of the safe destinations for foreign travelers in Colombia. Certainly, violent crime rarely affects foreign visitors to the city.
ICANN has said that it will commission such reports when there is a concern that security at its chosen meeting locations may not be up to scratch.
I believe the new meetings security plan was introduced in response to the vague terrorism threats that clouded the Nairobi meeting earlier this year, keeping many flighty Americans at home.