Several significant incidents in recent weeks have raised concern in Bogota with the ever-worrying situation on security. According to newspaper El Tiempo the Metropolitan Police reported 402 robberies against commercial establishments in Bogota in January 2024 News Article. As a security company in Colombia we try to stay on top of all news updates to work towards providing safer transportation services in Bogota.

There have been 12 reported attacks on commercial establishments (restaurants & cafes) in Bogota during the months of January & February this year. Most of these incidents occurred in areas with heightened police presence, particularly in tourist-popular districts such as Chapinero and Usaquen.

Spate of armed raids in Bogota restaurants

A summary of some of these incidents can be seen below:

  • 8:25pm, 12th February 2024 (Normandia) Lone gunmen entered restaurant and held six persons at gunpoint removing them of their possessions (cellphones, money and valuables).
  • 7:15pm, 6th February 2024 (Zone G) Popular restaurant raided with persons eating inside. Twenty customers robbed at gunpoint by two gunmen. Reports of further perpetrators outside the venue carrying out surveillance and early warning.
  • Evening, 11th February 2024 (Santa Barbara, Usaquen) Unknown number of criminals entered a restaurant and held persons at gunpoint removing them of their possessions.
  • 8:30pm, 15th January 2024 (Usaquen) Customers robbed at gunpoint in popular café in exclusive area.
  • 8:40pm, 10th February 2024 (Corferias) Five persons robbed at gunpoint by lone perpetrator.
  • 8:04pm, 14th February 2024 (Usaquen) Customers robbed at gunpoint. Reports suggest that the criminal group were carrying out surveillance on the establishment 30 minutes prior to the incident taking place.
  • 5:36m, 16th February 2024 (Usaquen) Armed robbery of persons inside a gastrobar. Police responded and captured one of the perpetrators.
  • 1:10am, 16th February 2024 (Bosa) Three gunmen entered bar and robbed several persons of their personal belongings.
  • PM, 20th February 2024 (Antonio Narino) Two gunmen shot and killed by a victim responding in self-defense during a robbery at a restaurant.

In most cases the gunmen enter the establishment and rob everyone (including clients) at gunpoint. In several incidents there has been an exchange of gunfire between security and the perpetrators resulting in serious harm or fatalities. An example of this can be the recent high profile incident in which a retired policeman shot and killed two criminals after beiing a victim of a robbery in a café in the Antonio Nariño area of Bogotá. Several of the shots fired by the victim were discharged in the street in the establishment entrance ultimately resulting in the death of the two criminals. As a reputable security company in Colombia, we ensure that our vehicles are safe for travel in such extreme situations.

Spate of armed raids in Bogota restaurants
  • The majority of these incidents took place at establishments that have easy access to the street enabling a quick getaway post-crime.
  • None of the establishments selected appeared to have known dedicated security on-site
  • The majority of these incidents’ reports suggest that there was surveillance carried out on the establishment in advance suggesting an organized planned raid
  • The majority of these incidents’ there were accomplice(s) located outside the establishment as a getaway for the perpetrator. Most often used vehicle being a motorcycle
  • These incidents tend to occur more frequently during early evening hours when customers typically socialize for dinner after work hours.
  • An assumption for this could also be that criminals target these hours for the following reasons:
    1. Establishments are typically busier in these hours; more people to rob. More valuables to take.
    2. People tend to drink alcohol in these hours. Less aware, more distractions from what’s going on in their surroundings.
  • People are typically more exhausted after a days work. Again, less aware. Less alert.
Spate of armed raids in Bogota restaurants

Even though these events can be unavoidable at times, the selection of restaurants or other establishments is paramount in reducing the risk of exposure to these types of events. While visiting the city for business or leisure, using transportation services by a security company in Colombia like Black Mountain Solutions ensures your safety.

Its recommended travelers to Bogotá consider the MINIMUM when selecting a venue to socialize:

  • Avoid establishments with easy access (street access). Establishments that directly face the street and offer convenient access are often appealing to criminals seeking a quick escape route. Conversely, establishments that are challenging to reach are preferable, like restaurants situated in exclusive areas with restricted vehicular or motorbike access. Lengthy driveways or approaches leading to the venue can discourage potential perpetrators.
  • Select establishments with an additional layer of security. It’s evident that the existence of CCTV cameras has minimal impact on deterring criminals. However, opting for a venue equipped with security guards or some form of access control can make it a less appealing target for criminals seeking easy opportunities for crime. Restaurants located within shopping malls are often good options as a deterrent as the criminals have to circumvent any shopping mall security and are often required to travel further to reach their getaway vehicle which increases their chance of being apprehended.
  • Selecting seating area. Criminals frequently seek a rapid and effortless escape, aiming to minimize their time spent in a location. Opting for a table located far from the main entrance, which is commonly used by gunmen in most incidents, can significantly decrease the likelihood of being targeted by perpetrators.
  • Pre-empt exits & hard cover options. Make it a habit to look for hard cover options and emergency exits when entering establishments for the first time. Hard cover options, such as solid walls or barriers, provide physical protection against gunfire. In the event of an active shooter, these barriers can significantly reduce the likelihood of bullets penetrating and causing harm to patrons and staff inside the restaurant. As demonstrated in recent incidents in Bogota where victims have responded in self-defense, shooting has taken place in the streets and venue vicinity, by anticipating a rear emergency exit can create further distance from you and the threat.

Often, these scenarios are unavoidable, but by proactively selecting venues in advance that may pose challenges for criminals, the likelihood of becoming a victim can be significantly reduced. In the unfortunate event of a robbery, it’s crucial to prioritize personal safety by refraining from resistance and promptly surrendering all valuables without hesitation. Resistance may lead to a sudden escalation of violence. Prioritizing compliance increases the chances of a safer resolution in such circumstances. At Black Mountain Solutions, as a trusted security company in Colombia, we take all the necessary measures to keep you safe.

Security Services Colombia, VIP Transportation & Executive Protection Bogota

Black Mountain Solutions offers security services in Bogota to assist travelers on their upcoming trips. We are proud to be a trusted security company in Colombia. Our bilingual drivers, trained in security, are well-versed in the risks and threats encountered by international travelers. They possess extensive knowledge of recommended precautions and areas to avoid. Additionally, we provide advice on itineraries, hotel selection, and choosing commercial establishments.

Contact us for more information about our services or to book our services.