Crime Risks in Chile - Travel Safety Tips

Sightseeing, adventure sports, relaxation and friendly welcoming people all await, making up just a small part of what Chile is all about and what's to be discovered there.

Protest in Chile

But while this beautiful country is a relatively safe place to visit, the threat of crime does still exist. Here are a few things to consider for a safe trip.

Petty Crime Hotspots

Chile is no different than any other travel destination that tourists frequent in that petty thefts like pickpocketing and bag snatching is an ongoing concern. Crowded places such as shops, restaurants and public transportation hubs are all hot spots for petty crime.

The Las Condes, Providencia and Vitacura areas of Santiago are notoriously frequented by thieves. Additional areas to be cautious in include Cerro San Cristobal, Cerro Manquehue, Cerro Santa Lucia and the Lake District.

Before you head out on the town, take appropriate precautions to avoid becoming a victim; don't flash your cash, keep valuables well concealed and always be aware of your surroundings.

Luggage Theft in Chile

Luggage and bag theft is also a growing problem in Chile, especially up north in San Pedro and near the Atacama Desert. The Pucon and Villarrica areas of the Lake District have also seen an increase in criminal activity, particularly theft.

Travelers are advised to never leave their baggage unattended in public transportation hubs and to avoid storing them in overhead compartments during travel. When moving throughout the country, if you have your bags with you do not let them out of your sight.

Mugging and Other Crime

While violent crime is thankfully quite rare in Chile, there have been  reports of daylight muggings occurring in the Cerro Santa Lucia, Cerro San Cristobal Park, and Cerro Manquehue areas of Santiago.

These muggings are particularly dangerous because they are often carried out by armed groups, making the threat of violence much more likely. Visiting places off the beaten path at night is not advised, and travel within the busier areas should be done in the safety of groups.

If you plan on using a taxi service after dark, it's advised that you book one in advance. Hailing one on the street may be dangerous.

Drink Spiking Risk in Chile

Chile has its share of bars and nightclubs offering an exciting nightlife experience for visitors. If you plan on drinking, however, keep in mind that reports of drink spiking have been on the rise.

The Santiago locations of Suecia and Bellavista are particularly dangerous for this type of activity. Victims are given drinks laced with a drug meant to render them unconscious, making them susceptible to robbery, assault or worse. Don't accept drinks from anyone you don't know, and always keep your beverage in your sight at all times.

Protests and Demonstrations

Large demonstrations and protests arise occasionally in Chile, and while most of them are carried out peacefully, they all present a certain level of danger of possible violence due to their political nature.

Clashes between rebels and the Chilean government can often become violent and quickly. If you happen upon a protest or demonstration, you are advised to steer clear of it.

Additionally, although terrorist acts such as bombings cannot easily be anticipated, you can lessen the chances of becoming a victim by monitoring local news reports and government warnings and by understanding the political climate of the areas you're planning to visit prior to and during your trip. This will help you determine what areas to avoid while you are there so you can stay out of harm's way.


  • Brian Patrick Corcoran said

    I've lived in Chile for five years now and I can tell you that these people have a culture of theft. It is a sport with them and if they can get "one up" on you by ripping you off while you back is turned, they will. It seems even the most "trustworthy" of them feel entitled to boost whatever is not nailed down. There is a lot of social/economic disparity in Chile and the lower class feels entitled to whatever they can get their hands on. That attitude permeates on up to the middle class. Never trust a Chilean. They are two-faced, treacherous, low-life scum.

  • Fred said

    I don't recognise that description at all not even as a generalisation. Lovely people Chileans. Santiago has become more dangerous place the last 5 years but remains a great place. Take care as you should in any big city.

  • Felipe Benavente said

    Hey Brian, if you think that we're all thieves, what are you doing here in my country? you should go back to USA, I lived in the States for a while, you have crime and murder, but I don't tell people that you're all thieves and murderers. Are you all americans like this guy? I dont think so.

  • Grace watkinson said

    This is all lies and sound like someone have issue. Chileans are the most beautiful and caring people I came crossed in Chile. They would go so far to help you. I been to Chile four times and nothing ever happen to me or my families. I went to Europe once and I got my hand bag snatched in the bus. I am too scare to go to America, I probably will get shot

  • Shane Corcoran said

    Don't ever say anything bad about Brian Corcoran and never tell him anything you've ever done that you don't want the world to know.
    He will rat you out and snitch on you to your friends,associates,family and his primary
    target will be your employer. Nothing is sacred to him!
    He will steal money from a child or elderly.

    There is no code of honor with this guy.
    America is a better place without this rat.
    You keep him in Chile and do the United States a favor

  • Shane Corcoran said

    Hey Grace Watkinson

    You won't get shot in the US, just avoid high crime areas and keep your eyes open.
    Be aware of your surroundings and do so with a situational awareness.Simple plan!!

    The vast majority of gun owners in America are lawful and " aim " to protect themselves. Good luck and come see our great country.
    Just don't bring Brian with you.

  • Shane Corcoran said

    I' d rather trust a Chilean than a treacherous,two-faced, back stabbing, low life

    blood sucking scumbag named Brian.


  • John Jason said

    Hey, guys. Leave Brian alone. He apparently has had a rough time. Maybe he just had bad luck or brought it on himself.
    He needs friends, something, judging by your reactions to his sad world, you are not.

    I will be your friend Bri, just chill a bit.

    Uncle John

  • Brian Patrick Corcoran said

    Thank you for your support and understanding, John. I think that if the US had any colonies, many American men would gladly emigrate to them. Many are leaving anyway for Canada, Australia, South America and Europe. Those who remain feel rootless and displaced - from their jobs, their country, and even, as demonstrated by the vituperative nature of the comments above, their families. It is difficult to feel any sense of belonging to what America has become today. What I really love about Chile is the strong sense of family that still abides here; a value that once formed the very cornerstone of American culture and appears to have since lost its relevance. I can live with the petty crime in Chile. All I know is that the US certainly did not work for me and I am glad to have left it in my past. And yes, I can use all the friends that I can get.

  • Lola Corcoran said

    Brian Corcoran has no moral spine, he run like rat.

  • Dave Runle said

    My daughter is going to down there in about a month and I am worried about crime there. Her mother says that it is a pretty nice and safe place to visit I just worrie about crime as I was around Mexico a lot and lived just several miles from there. You hear about kidnapings around South America area so I'm just trying to feel better about her going there. So far what I see here is it's not so bad

  • Brian Patrick Corcoran said

    actually, the only time I was robbed in Chile was when I was trying to buy drugs on a street corner while I was higher than a kite.. I take back everything I said in my first post. I deserved it.. I'm a total loser and I deserved it.. Chileans are great people.. me, not so much.. I need help..

  • Mike said


    I have been living with my family here in Chile for the past year and a half. It has proven to be safe. Santiago is a Big City, and as such precautions should be taken. However I have found it safer than almost all big cities in the States. It is true that petty theft is high, but kidnappings are not anything to be concerned about. I am very familiar with Mexico and the concerns that exist there. Chile does not have those concerns.

  • Brian Patrick Corcoran said

    When over the course of over one-half century one has been compelled to endured an incessant train of crimes and vexating abuses by a family member, the interest an otherwise tranquil spirit has vested in the sanctity of its own self esteem demands nothing less than the extremity of a resolute estrangement. As familial ties are ordained by
    nature to be among the most benevolent and enduring, such a course has not been taken lightly nor for such transient causes as might be amenable to pardon or reconciliation. Such has been the unfortunate circumstance with regard to my younger blood brother, Shane Christopher Corcoran. As of this writing I have enjoyed for over twenty years the solitude and peace of mind afforded me by virtue of
    his absence in my life, only to recently discover that he has now assumed the platform of the World Wide Web to continue unabated the abuses heaped upon me but only now on a grander scale by projecting on to my character those self-same depravities to which his own character has been so throughly inured. I am therefore compelled to mount a
    defense in the very medium that my adversary has adopted for the purpose of my disparagement. Let a candid world judge for itself the veracity of Shane Christopher Corcoran's calumnies by aprising itself of the nature of their source as evinced by the following facts.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran's delinquent nature manifest itself as early as age six in that he stole my baseball glove out of my bedroom without my permission and absconded to Lincoln park with it to pretend to play baseball. There,in an impulsive fit, he threw the glove at a duck swimming in the Milwaukee river where it sank in the water and was lost forever. His ill-conceived intent to kill a duck with my
    baseball glove resulted in my not being able to play baseball all that summer as I could not afford a new one. While this incident may appear to be laughably trivial and somewhat quaint it is offered to indicate the irrational impulsiveness that was later to characterize many of his criminal acts.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran's delayed development and lack of impulse control proved a constant source of disgraceful embarrassment and frustration to the entire family by dint of his infantile habits of thumb sucking and bed wetting which conditions we were suffered to endure up to his eighth year of age. His hyperactivity and misbehavior in grammar school caused the nuns, who frequently resorted to slapping him silly, no end of frustration in trying to bringing him to heel. His intellectual development as a youth was so stultified that he was forced to drop an entire grade.

    At the age of seven years of age Shane Christopher Corcoran went on a joyously destructive rampage of throwing stones through 50 windows of a local factory building causing an incident which involved local police and ultimately resulted in an enormous expense to the family in order to replace them. This incident caused our father to exasperatingly exclaim one time while pointing to his temple with one finger that, "He's tetched! That kid is tetched in the head." Many years later when I happened to have a chance encounter with some of
    his former highschool classmates they were all in universal agreement that he was "nuts", as they put it.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran shamed the entire family with his history of burglary when as a fourteen-year-old juvenile, he stole numerous TVs, and other expensive items from our neighbor's homes. He was arrested by the police during the progress one of his illegal forays and ended up in Juvenile Court with a criminal record that was eventually expunged when he turned 18.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran several times burglarized the Spartan department store on Green Bay Avenue by placing the items he wanted to steal in a shopping cart and then abandoning the cart in the fenced off gardening supplies section that was attached to but external to the building. Once nightfall arrived he regained access to the garden area through a small section of the fencing that had been separated from the wall of the building. This enabled Shane Christopher Corcoran to gain access to the garden supplies area at nighttime when the store was closed. He would then retrieve shopping cart full of contraband that had not yet been restocked and make off with the stolen merchandise under cover of darkness. The management eventually discovered this security breech and repaired the chain-linked fence but only after sustaining several thousand dollars of loss.

    At the age of 12 Shane Christopher Corcoran started an arson fire in a major lumberyard at the intersection of Hampton and Atkinson Avenues. The fire was so huge and uncontrollable that the lumberyard was completely destroyed and was never reestablished as a business causing the loss of thousands upon thousands of dollars and many jobs. The black cloud of smoke that arose from this conflagration could be seen for ten miles in any direction throughout the city of Milwaukee. The property was eventually cleared and replaced with a supermarket chain store. This fact of his involvement in this crimehas been a closely guarded secret for over 50 years now.The tragic irony of this incident is that Shane Christopher Corcoran eventually lived to become a City of Milwaukee firefighter and enjoyed a lucrative, nonproductive life as just another overprivileged government thug suckling on the taxpayer tit with a fat, generous revenue-draining pension. Where I now live in Chile, firefighting is not even a paid profession but a free public service rendered by dedicated volunteers which is the way it should be.

    During the Milwaukee race riots of the summer 1967 a 13-year-old Shane Christopher Corcoran one evening took a loaded 12 gauge shotgun out of our Father's closet, went outside the house with it and discharged the weapon in the general direction of a carload of peaceful Black people
    who happened to be driving up our street. Our neighbor seized the weapon from him and smashed the wooden stock rendering the weapon more or less useless. Just another testimony to his criminally irrational, dangerous and outright stupidly impulsive nature. He truly is and was, dangerous.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran as a fifteen-year-old high school student stole several wallets out of the coats of fathers participating in Messmer High School's annual father/son basketball game by sneaking into the gymnasium locker room during the game and pickpocketing the fathers clothing hanging in the unlocked lockers.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran burglarized the Wisco gas station on Green Bay Avenue down the street from our childhood home at 4311 North 14th Street by concealing himself in the station shortly before the closing hours. He had a friend who worked as the station's manager and closely
    observed him open the safe one time thereby acquiring the combination to the safe's lock. Once the station closed he emerged from his hiding place and opened the safe stealing over $800.00 in cash. He also stole many cartons of cigarettes and a small fortune's worth of Wisco "green stamps" which were redeemable in cash.

    At the age of 18 while still living in the home of our parents on North 14th Street Shane Christopher Corcoran had some kind of a mental breakdown and went on a violent, attention-getting, destructive rampage by overturning and smashing every piece of furniture in his bedroom. My mother was so distraught over this incident that she was driven to tears. The upshot of this violent episode was that he was kicked out of the house and sent to live miles away in a rooming house owned by my grandmother.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran left me stranded without transportation in a motel room in Neenah, Wisconsin prior to our brother Tim´s wedding for over 4 hours with no notice of his intent to leave and no way to communicate with him in his absence. When he finally returned to the motel hours later the passenger side of his 1963 Chevrolet convertible was smashed in so badly as to render the doors inoperable. He had run through a stop sign while showing off in front of the girl's dormitory at the University of Oskosh and had been T-boned by an innocent, elderly lady who, owing to his negligence, sustained serious physical injuries in the collision. Shortly afterward the car had to be scrapped for junk . His arrogant negligence is a menace to public safety.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran fell asleep in his room at the house we shared at 1018 East Knapp Street with a lit, unattended votive candle that he had placed on top of a wooden Stero/TV/Phonograph entertainment center. In his ignorance and stupidity he failed to place the bare votive candle in a recepticle to retain the molten wax and it consequently melted all over the surface of the wooden
    entertainment center. Eventually it set the wooden surface to smoldering. After smelling the smoke from my upstairs apartment, I went downstairs in pursuit of its source. Upon entering the room I found him sleeping on top of his bed, fully clothed and with a cloud of smoke descending upon him that was so thick that you could no longer see the ceiling. The wooden top now had an angrily glowing red circle of a burning ember in the center of it that was seconds away from bursting into flames. Fortunately the fire was successfully extinguished with water and without furthur damage other than a smoky stench that lasted days in the house. Shane Christopher Corcoran is so stupidly negligent that he is a clear and present danger to persons and things surrounding him.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran attempted to scam me, his own brother, out of $20.00 in 1978 when I trusted him to cash a $500.00 check I received as a settlement on a lawsuit I had pending in Madison. He returned only $480.00 of it blaming the shortfall on "bank error". I was eventually able to shame him into coughing up the stolen cash.

    When I was about to depart in my automobile for Houston to seek out employment during the recession of 1978 Shane Christopher Corcoran's parting jesture of encouragement and good luck was to scornfully laugh at me and state "Good riddence to bad rubbish". Benevolence and good manners have never been part and parcel of his social repertoire.

    While I was living in Houston in 1980, I agreed to testify as a material witness on behalf of Shane Christopher Corcoran in a civil case he had pending in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, provided he would pay my airfare to and from Milwaukee and Houston. I took three days off of work to do him this favor. At the last minute he decided that my testimony would not be required and cancelled the airline reservation without notifying me of this fact. When I arrived at Hobby Airport in Houston to board the flight I unknowingly insisted that the reservation had been properly made and on my word they graciously allowed me to board the plane without confirmation. By the time I arrived in Saint Louis to catch the connecting flight to Milwaukee, the airline had figured out that my claim was bogus and would not allow me on the flight to Milwaukee. Because of his negligence in simply informing me not to bother going to the airport in Houston I
    ended up stranded in St. Louis. I ended up having to have our parents bail me out of this fix. I lost two days of work and was forced to suffer humiliating embarrasment over this incident that a simple phone call could have easily prevented. No person should be suffered the agravation of having to deal with inconsiderate, self-centered narcisistic nitwits like Shane Christopher Corcoran.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran in 1984 double-crossed me regarding our mutual agreement to split the legally acquired income we generated from the probate sale of furniture from the house at 1018 East Knapp Street subsequent to the death of our Mother and with malice aforethought absconded with $200.00 that was owed me for my work
    during sale. I ended up having to sue him in small claims court to recover it.

    On a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters National Park in Minnesota one summer I made the mistake of placing him in the front of the canoe where he commanded the preview of what was in front of us. He steared the canoe orthoginally to a fast-running current of water near the shoreline where a creek emptied a voluminous quantity of water into the lake. The onrushing stream of water impacting on the side of the
    canoe tipped it to within a hair's breadth of overturning it in deep water with hundreds of dollars of equipment aboard. I was left breathless from the shock of the impact and the danger that his lack of understanding of simple physics put us in. Shane Christopher Corcoran is so stupid that he is truly dangerous. Then on the trip back home to Milwaukee he stopped at a gas station to fill the tank and check the oil. He did not latch the car hood when he closed it and
    as I was driving it down a county two-lane blacktop at nighttime at 65 miles per hour the hood blew up into the windshield almost causing a disasterous highway accident. Then he has the temerity dto blame me for his own negligence. He is so stupid he is truly dangerous and never takes responsibility for his shortcomings.

    In 1984, when Shane Christopher Corcoran was 29 years of age and when we were sharing a house together at 1018 East Knapp Street there occurred an incident in which two Black intruders entered the house through the unlocked front door. I was upstairs at the time and when I became aware of their unauthorized entry I confronted them with a
    loaded 9mm Beretta and had them lie on the floor until the police whom I had called could arrive. The police let them go since the intruders claimed they were looking for someone else, had the wrong address and had not forced entry. Fearing that they somehow might return, I entrusted the Beretta to Shane Christopher Corcoran that afternnon as I had to go to work my second shift job. When I returned that night he informed me that two adults had later rung the doorbell and left the porch after he declined to answer the door not knowing who they might be. He then followed them onto the street, approached them, pulled the Beretta on them in broad daylight and threatened them with it demanding to know what they wanted at the house! Go figure what would possess this nitwit to do such a thing! This amounts to felony assault and brandishing a weapon in public. Fortunately, nothingcame of it as far as the police were concerned but it shows you how irrational and impulsively irresponsible he can be. Needless to say, I never again trusted him with my handgun.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran ruined my Isla Royal National Park vacation that I was foolish enough to invite him to share with me through his negligence in sustaining an injury to his foot that could have easily been avoided with the exercise of the least scintilla of simple common sense. The vacation had to be abandoned after the very first day of an anticipated one-week stay after driving 570 miles to get there from
    Milwaukee and taking a boat across Lake Superior to reach the Island. His negligence and outright stupidity cost me over $1500.00 in expenses and lost income, not to mention having to suffer the extreme agravation and frustrating disappointment of having a much-needed summer vacation irretrievably ruined. Needless to say, neither apology nor financial recompense was forthcoming for his abject negligence. Needless to say, I never invited him to share another vaction with me.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran reneged on his promise to pay me $1,000.00 for writing a pro se legal brief for him which appealed a Milwaukee County District Court ruling denying him compensation for having payed child support to an illegitmate son allegedly born to him when he was 25 years old. DNA tests later proved that he was not the father of the child and he made a demand upon the State of Wisconsin for all the money he had been fraudulently forced to pay over an 18 year period. The District Court denied his demand for repayment. A local attorney offered to mount his appeal of this ruling for a retainer of $6,500.00. I wrote for him the appeal brief contesting this lower court ruling on his promise that he would pay me $1000.00 for my writing skills and legal expertise contingent on a victory in the case. The legal research on case law and writing of the brief consumed
    a solid two weeks of labor on my part. The appeal was granted and I had won the case for him as a pro se litigant. The appeals court ordered the State of Wisconsin to pay him $75,000.00 with compound interest which he received in a lump sum. But when it came time to pay me the $1,000.00 he owed me, he refused to do so claiming that the brief was "not complete". Then, to add insult to injury he took full
    credit for HIS having written the brief totally by himself and boasted about his nonexistent legal acumen in a newspaper account of the ruling. Since it is illegal for a person like myself who is not a bar member to provide legal services of this nature for payment, I had NO legal recourse to sue him for his breach of contract. He took full advantage of this fact and of me. I put $75,000.00 in his pocket and he completely stiffed me on his promise for a very small fraction of what I gained for him. Honesty and honor have never been part and parcel Shane Christopher Corcoran's moral reperitoire.

    Shane Christopher Corcoran lied about me to his Oriental lady friend from Hong Kong defaming my character by falsely stating to her that I was an anti-Asiatic racist. This was done to bolster his standing with her by posturing himself as some kind of romantic hero willing to sacrifice his family loyalty for her love. The totally predictable result of this short-sighted manipulative ploy was that his Oriental girfriend refused to meet me and that is the way things have stood now for over 20 years later after his having married her.

    So, given these facts, and they are by no means inclusive, judge for youself if I have been justified to put as much distance between Shane Christopher Corcoran and myself.

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