Couple brutally attacked in Ecuador

Oct 24, 2008 Full story: MSNBC 10

It was to be the trip of a lifetime - a full year in Central America and Ecuador - and Britt Leis and his fiancA©e, Lia Koehn, had sold their belongings to finance it.

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Vince

Salem, OR

#1 Oct 24, 2008
I have lived in Ecuador in the past it was a nice place and has many beauties, the people are wonderful but there is always an evil person. We have the same things happen here in the USA like the beautiful anchorwoman in the midwest all most beat to death in her home the other day. Be safe where ever you are, if in Esmeraldas Ecuador know it is rated as a dangerous place especially at night in isolated areas, do not walk on the beach in Esmeraldas at night where it is abandoned. Stay where the majority of people are. GOd bless this couple to recover.
james

Evansville, IN

#2 Oct 25, 2008
I also live in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. After talking with my wife last night, she said the news there reported they were attacked in a small isolated beach area south of the city of Esmeraldas. About 40 miles south. We have visited this area several times. It is popular with the surfers, but is more than 3 or 4 miles off the main highway.After visiting the marketplaces in the highlands of the country one can get the false feeling of safety. This can and is very dangerous for anyone not used to traveling to these areas. Ecuador is a beautiful and friendly country, but has criminals like everywhere else in the world. I wish this couple a fast and full recovery.
David

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#3 Nov 1, 2008
Does anyone know exactly where the incident happened?. Most reports online say in the city of Esmeraldas, but I read one that said at Las Manchas beach. Did it happen near the tiny town of Las Manchas near Mompiche, the famous surfing break?
God bless this couple

Salt Lake City, UT

#4 Nov 3, 2008
President Correa el pueblo necesita protección y los turista tambien, caramba.
james

Evansville, IN

#5 Nov 6, 2008
David wrote:
Does anyone know exactly where the incident happened?. Most reports online say in the city of Esmeraldas, but I read one that said at Las Manchas beach. Did it happen near the tiny town of Las Manchas near Mompiche, the famous surfing break?
Yes, I live in esmeraldas and am in the US visiting. My wife said the local news reported the assault took place at Mompiche. This has a lot of foreign tourists since the surfing is pretty famous there. The problem is, Mompiche is not always full of people and that is when it can be a dangerous place. Ecuador is a wonderful country, but has bad individuals like everywhere else in the world.
Rachel Conrad

Gainesville, VA

#6 Nov 19, 2008
I visited Ecuador few times because my father works with the oil company and I never had any bad experience.
Ecuador is a beautiful country and its people are nice. But tourists need protection. This is the second incidente I have heard of a tourist being attacked in Esmeraldas. This is not good news for tourists and it is going to hurt Ecuador's economy.
I hope the autorithies take these incidentes more seriously and clean up that area from bad people.
Luis

Los Angeles, CA

#7 Nov 19, 2008
I was born in Guayaquil Ecuador but have lived in California all but 4 years of my life, I am 47. The last time I visited Ecuador was on an emergency as my mother was ill during her visit to see her sisters. I stayed a week and upon my return I went through the typical airport things. I put my carry on bag through the x-ray machine, as after 911 every country now x-rays the contents of ones carry on. I had my airline ticket and passport in my hand. I boarded the plane & we took off. In mid air I brought down my carry on from the over head compartment, opened it and found that my man bag which had my wallet with all of my credit cards, social security card, license was gone! I had also hidden a 3 carat diamond ring, a 1 carat diamond ring, a gold bracelet, and a Rado Wrist watch. I had them all well hidden in this leather bag and never ever took them out while visiting Ecuador. I of course made a scene in the airplane. The steward spoke to the pilot and he radioed the Guayaquil Airport to see if they could be recovered or found. Nothing. When I arrived in Miami, in transit to LA I called my relatives in Guayaquil. My aunt who has several attorney friends told me that if I would have discovered this while still on the ground, the people at the airport would have put a little bag of Cocain in my bag and then would have arrested me for drug possession. It seems that this is a scam in these 3rd world countries. My aunt spoke with her attorney friends and was told that I was very lucky. There are several Americans and Europeans who this has happened to and are still in jail in Ecuador! I love Ecuador, I was born there but I felt I had to share my story with everyone and warn everyone not to bring any valuables to Ecuador even hidden. I was told that diamonds and gold is what they are looking for. Please be careful and god help those inocent people still in jail. Oh, by the way, the thief bought a new engine and several other things with my credit cards. I was of course not held responsible for those charges. I also called the Ecuadorean consulate in Ecuador and was told that Ecuador is a poor country and that there was nothing they could do. Typical....
Rachel

Gainesville, VA

#8 Nov 20, 2008
I have been in Quito and Esmeraldas airports. I did not notice any handling of my bags by any of the men from customs. They scanned my bags thru exrays and they looked inside of my handbag. At any time they handled my bags or they had the opportunity to take anything from my carry on bag. I wonder if Guayaquil is different from Quito. I have been in Quito at least five times and I never lost anything from my handbag or suitcases.
So far I feel very confident to travel to Quito Ecuador.
Marco

London, UK

#9 Aug 29, 2012
Rachel wrote:
I have been in Quito and Esmeraldas airports. I did not notice any handling of my bags by any of the men from customs. They scanned my bags thru exrays and they looked inside of my handbag. At any time they handled my bags or they had the opportunity to take anything from my carry on bag. I wonder if Guayaquil is different from Quito. I have been in Quito at least five times and I never lost anything from my handbag or suitcases.
So far I feel very confident to travel to Quito Ecuador.
You are very lucky Rachel, very lucky indeed. I bet even if you jump off the plane, you'll land on your feet. But others should beware and never go to Esmeraldas.
dean

Quito, Ecuador

#10 Sep 9, 2012
I've lived in Esmeraldas for over ten years and fortunately have never had a problem. Lucky maybe, but trying to use common sense and not put yourself in bad situations helps.

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