Travel to/from Lima Airport (December 7, 2015)

The Regional Security Office would like to remind our Embassy community of the continuing risk of robbery traveling to-and-from Jorge Chavez airport in taxis that do not have security window film installed on all side windows. This window film is called LAMINADO locally.

“Spark-plug” or “Bujíazo” robberies — where motorcycle riding thieves spot vehicles with no window film — pull alongside a stopped vehicle at an intersection or stuck in traffic. The thieves use a spark-plug to smash open an unprotected window, grab any items of value next to the vehicle passenger, and ride off quickly away from the vehicle. While smash-and-grab robberies may happen throughout the city, this modus operandi is most prevalent along routes to-and-from the airport.
When using taxicabs to-and-from the airport, use taxi services with security laminate installed on all side and rear windows. MITSOO or CMV, authorized by the airport, and car/driver services of the major chain hotels in Lima are advisable. MITSOO and CMV confirm that 100% of their taxicab fleets are equipped with LAMINADO. You may also consider other appropriately equipped taxi services through the EasyTaxi, Uber, Taxi Satellital, Taxi Estrellas and Panaka services. Patrons should always ensure to specifically request such taxis/vehicles with LAMINADO.
With respect to TAXI GREEN service, which is currently authorized by the airport, the majority of their vehicle fleet still do not have security window film installed. Until TAXI GREEN confirms with RSO that their entire fleet have window film installed, all patrons and visitors are urged to refrain from considering use of TAXI GREEN service. .)
Take other precautions to reduce your risk of robbery. Use radio taxis that record a history of the car and driver assigned for your trip. If carrying luggage, request a car with a trunk where your bags can be hidden from view. Keep all valuables out of sight, preferably on the floor of the vehicle, under your legs. Do not place bags or purses on the seat or your lap where they may be easily stolen in a smash-and-grab. If possible, carry money and important documents in a money belt on your person.

The Embassy wishes to remind travelers of the continuing risk of robbery traveling to and from Jorge Chavez International  airport in Lima, especially during the holiday season.  Criminals often target main corridors to/from the airport to conduct “smash and grab” robberies, in which they break windows and steal items in the passenger cabin. Robbers tend to target taxis with windows that do not have security window film (“laminado” in Spanish), a laminate that resists window breakage and makes a “smash and grab” robbery more difficult.  Embassy employees have been advised to use only taxis with security laminate on the windows.

MITSOO and CMV, two airport-authorized services with counters located at the exit from airport customs, have confirmed that all their vehicles have laminate.  Taxi Green, which is currently also authorized by the airport, does not have security window film installed for many vehicles. If using other services such as Easy Taxi, UBER, Taxi Satelital, Taxi Estrellas and Panaka, travelers should be sure to request “laminado” taxis.

In addition to using “laminado” taxis, travelers can reduce their risk of robbery by doing the following:

  • Use taxi services that record a history of the car and driver assigned for your trip.
  •  If carrying luggage, request a car with a trunk where your bags can be hidden from view.
  • Keep all valuables out of sight, preferably on the floor of the vehicle, under your legs.
  • Do not place bags or purses on the seat or your lap where they may be easily stolen in a smash-and-grab.
  • If possible, carry money and important documents in a money belt on your person.