A lot of boats coming and going everyday with no problems, but of course sh#t happens on occasion.
Because of the drug interdiction navies, this part of the world is actually pretty safe, and under constant surveillance. That high-rise apt building at the end of Bocagrande has a DEA outpost with state of the art photography equipment
; all boats going in and out are photographed, and these pictures are sent to headquarters. Docks are filmed as well.
Whatever you do, don't shoot anyone with a Colombian unlicensed gun, as you've just entered The Twilight Zone.
A bigger problem that I've had over the last 15 years of living here, is this culture of gringo prices. Tall, blonde/blue, makes me a target for 'gringo pricing', which can be as much as 3 or 4 times as much as a local will pay. As a businessman, I"m constantly arguing over prices as I know they're trying to rip me off, as foreigners are perceived to be wealthy in their eyes.
Sadly, only recently I've found a solution for this problem and it works fantastically. I can't believe how in a lot of cases, I'm treated in the exact opposite manner, as people want to give and do things for FREE! Normally, many of these people would steal a hot stove, WITHOUT gloves.
Go to this site, and buy one of these clergy shirts. It's not a crime to impersonate a Catholic priest.
Clergy Shirts, Clerical Collars & Accessories for Pastors- Church Ministerial Shirts Ready to Ship from The Robe Shop
I went to buy a car for the 'church', (actually for my daughter), and they wouldn't sell me one off the lot, they said they'll find something better for me at a much better price
This shoe repair guy wanted to do the work for free, but I insisted on paying this 3 tooth guy. (I want to pay what everyone else is paying, that's all)
Dozens of other examples, and I sure wish I did this all along; I'd have a whole lot more money
You have to play the part, if you have visible gang tattoos, then obviously you'd look suspicious. Have a little humility and positiveness to your demeanor. If someone wants salvation, then tell them, "God forgives you for all your sins."
Believe me this works, and you can do this all over Latin America. If you don't speak Spanish, then tell them you're in their town to teach a class at the local Seminary.
I could walk through Comuna 13 at 2am in the morning, and nothing bad would happen.