Thanks to Enrique 262 Tumblr Page for the pics/story!
Note: The question asked to Enrique was this...So what makes crossing the border in Venezuela so dangerous?
It’s a rather complex problem, but basically, the border crossing can only be made on foot for the last year or so, and while after you pass the Venezuelan customs it’s a matter of paying a taxi biker, which are allowed to work by the National Guard, to get you from the customs office to a tollbooth one kilometer away, where cars are waiting, that’s where it gets complicated.That's Mad Max or Ghetto fabulous .... I can't decide which one. Think about it. You have to pay some gangsters to enter a country? I can't even wrap my head around that one. US Customs pisses me off to no end and our Border guys irritate me (when I was out west) by having checkpoints on highways that made you stop and ask if you were a US citizen even though I was hundreds of miles from the border.
Because you see, you never know just who the fuck is waiting there, and while there’s a police station and a lot of said Taxi bikers, ensuring you won’t get robbed there, once you get into a car, you just don’t know what’s going to happen next.
So the safest bet is taking a public transport car (Carrito por Puesto, basically a full-sized american V8 that that takes no more than 5 passengers) inside Colombia, but since, as said, cars aren’t allowed to cross, you’re forced to take The Trail (La Trocha), an illegal dirt road used by food and gasoline smuggles between both countries, to get into Venezuela, where you usually spend about an hour driving around what I call no man’s land, where you find every 50 meters or so an improvised checkpoint manned by dubious people, all charging small amounts of money to let you continue.
If you don’t have the cash, they won’t let you through, and if you try to force your way in, they´ll just shoot you, as many are armed.
And the thing is, that place is dangerous as fuck, as all the booth people care about is your money, so unless you hire a bike to guide you through, nothing assures you that you won’t get robbed, like what happened to mom a few months ago when her Carrito por Puesto was intercepted by an SUV, and all of her belongings were robbed by 5 men armed to the teeth.
This happens almost exclusively inside Venezuela, where the National Guard charges the gangs inside La Trocha a monthly fee to basically never get close to it, so thanks to the fucked up situation of the country, it’s a question of taking a safe car and a dangerous route, or a safe route and a dangerous car.
Such is life in Venezuela.
I don't know how I would feel if it was just some jackass trying to steal money from me while traveling.
Venezuela sucks. I feel for them down there.