After the robbery in Laguna De Apoyo, Diego and I decided to go to the police station in Catarina to file a police report. The shuttle dropped us off in the center of town–right away we observed that there were only locals around selling garden plants and house decor. We asked five different people where the station was and each time we got a different answer. It was obvious that the police station was neither a place that locals utilized nor visited at all.
After 25 minutes of walking around the town, we finally found the small blue building we had been searching for. We entered and the officers quickly directed us to the back office. The office was no bigger than a small walk in closet, with a little desk covered completely by mounds of unorganized papers scattered everywhere.
Diego sat down in the chair and explained what had happened the night before. The officer listened to the story then asked Diego to write everything down on plain piece of white paper. Once he finished writing the incident down, the police said that they would soon come to the scene of the crime to investigate.
Two days later a police officer arrived at the resort. He asked for the victim and we explained that she had already flown home out of Nicaragua. We thought it was a bit silly to even ask that considering the incident had occurred four days ago. He then explained that there was nothing they could do if the victim was not still here in Nicaragua. After he left we wondered what the point was of going on the long trek to visit the police station in the first place. The unfortunate reality was: we didn’t expect much assistance.
The police force in Nicaragua is quite different than the one I was used to in the States. The police here can be useful in situations with massive amounts of people to calm the chaos, but when it comes to little things like a purse theft in the streets, finding the criminal isn’t a top priority. Especially when it comes to tourists. The important thing to remember as to travel to places with different police forces than your home country is to just always be aware and protect yourself when you can. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t, remember that you’re not alone. Justice will be served one way or another. The things that get stolen are just things. Karma always comes back around.