Don't Pay the Ransom

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June 2nd 2019
Published: May 29th 2019
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I just read where kidnapping is now on the State Department's risk indicators for travelers to some countries I am visiting or visited in the past. From Fodor's:

On April 9, the U.S. State Department announced that it’s added kidnapping to the risk indicators on its travel advisories.

Countries where U.S. citizens face the potential risk of being kidnapped or taken hostage will now be marked with a “K” on their respective travel advisory page, alongside previous indicators like crime, terrorism, and natural disasters.

The new indicator has been applied to the 35 following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine (in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine), Venezuela, and Yemen.I have highlighted the countries I have visited, and one, Turkey where I am headed.

Whatever you do, please do not pay the ransom!!! I am not worth it, and might even enjoy living in a foreign country for a while. Then again, maybe NOT!!!Note: I highlighted the countries where I have visited, and my chances were higher!!!

That said, my brother has a friend whose wife was kidnaped and held for ransom in downtown San Francisco by a band of homeless renegades. Long story, but he finally did pay, and get her back, albeit much worse off than when she was taken. Yes, Virginia, it does happen!!!!!And to think, I almost signed up for medical missions in Haiti, Venezuela or Philippines.

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