Home > About Me, Travel > First hand experience of corruption in Bolivia

First hand experience of corruption in Bolivia

At the boarder from Peru to Bolivia near Lake Titicaca, I had two completely valid and up to date passports yet I was picked on because I was too special I guess.

As soon as I walked in, one of the officers wrote on a piece of paper $100 but I bargained down to USD20 then they said USD40. I was pissed off because I have the right to enter this country for free, so I tried to stick to $20. But then they lost interest in my cash and started playing games. Let me tell you, trying to communicate in my nil Spanish and their broken English was a nightmare – even chucking in a bit of sign language.

The police with most english tried to play the friendly card so I kept along. I answered questions about my travels then questions relating to my relationship status that I’m single nor married, no I don’t have any boyfriend. He then offered me a one way entry to his country and that I can go to his house. Seriously, I think my body and soul is worth a little more than USD40.  I didn’t know what to say to that so I joked and said I that I don’t work and of no use to him. I also didn’t want to anger him.

They kept looking at my passports and checking their pieces of paper, but at this point I knew it didn’t matter what any piece of paper said. It was up to their discretion. I played my sympathy card and started crying saying I can’t be alone in Peru with no hotel and my friends already onward in Bolivia. He just told me to calm down.

An hour later, they kept saying no to my entrance into Bolivia. I was fed up and asked them how much, they said not money but matter of principle. They were scared to get in trouble because I had a watermark on the second page of my passport and it is not valid. They suggested I go to the embassy to get a new passport. But wait, I have another valid passport. Apparently dual nationality is not allowed in Bolivia. Huh!?!

I left with my head down and no entry stamp on my passport. Options racing through my head as my flight was supposed to leave from Bolivia in 4 days. But two officers followed me outside the office, where finally they were interested in talking money. Interestingly, exchange was to happen on the Peru side of the boarder.

So I ended up entering the country after participating in an illegal transaction reluctantly.

At least, I have a good story for my blog.

***Photo by journeyexplorer

  1. September 23, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I’d stop you at the border too. Might be the only way to get a date. lol

  2. September 27, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I have been told I shouldn’t be surprised at these sort of things. Next time I’m carrying around cigarettes, just in case…

  3. ar_hoi
    September 30, 2012 at 6:36 am

    No, no surprises… been here done that and you are home safe. that’s the most important.

  1. September 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm

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