Nicaragua is very safe. There’s a persistent perception that there’s a war going on still in Nicaragua, that it’s very dangerous, and there are a lot of guerillas running around the country. If you really look into it, the national police chief of Nicaragua is a female who has been written up in Time Magazine and The Economist because of what a great job she’s done and how high crime is falling tremendously in Nicaragua and all the bordering countries. The police chief has a significant policy against corruption and fires about 200 policemen a year for this.
The national police chief of Nicaragua started anti-gang programs where ex-gang members are brought into the inner cities in Nicaragua to help get rid of the gang problem. She’s done an amazing job that’s spread throughout the country. Crime is starting to grow as more and more money comes in, including a lot of petty theft. In northern Nicaragua, there are very few incidents of robberies.
I’ve got a wife and two young kids with me here in Nicaragua, and it doesn’t scare me as much as far as safety is concerned. In fact, it doesn’t really cross my mind. Up in northern Nicaragua, crime is almost non-existent at this point.
Residents of northern Nicaragua are trying to nip any potential crime problem in the bud by working with businesses and organizations to make sure that high crime rates don’t hit northern Nicaragua. I rent homes in northern Nicaragua all the time that don’t even have locks on the door, or I would forget to lock my car at night and feel very safe. Nothing has ever happened. That’s something I can’t do in San Diego or Costa Rica.
Though I haven’t been in San Diego in a while, I’ve seen that there’s a somewhat organized police system in San Diego, so crime rates in San Diego are fairly low, but you can still become a target there. Crime and murder rates are lower in Nicaragua. The murder rate in Nicaragua is actually lower than the top 100 cities in the US, which is the reason I do feel very safe here in Nicaragua, especially in northern Nicaragua.
Not much crime has occurred in Nicaragua as far as tourism or big investments are concerned, which often would be the reason for the thefts and crimes.
(Aminta Granera Socasa, Director General of the National Police of Nicaragua, pictured.)