Australians Seek Haven in Costa Rica After Violent Robbery in Guatemala

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British and UK media reported over the weekend about a group of Australian and other tourists who left their hotel in Antigua, Guatemala for an excursion on a private bus, only to be shot at by a passing car and subsequently assaulted, tied up, and robbed at gunpoint.

An Australian couple who was part of the kidnapped group decided to try to recuperate their thwarted vacation plans by coming to Costa Rica.

“Queensland couple Jayson Peter Kelly and Kirsten Smith were just eight weeks in to a nine-month trip of a lifetime when they were abducted, robbed and assaulted at gunpoint in Guatemala,”

Smith and Kelly, both 25, described to media how Saturday just before 2 a.m. as their group set off north for León, Nicaragua from Antigua, Guatemala, they were intercepted by three heavily armed men in a car who shot at their bus and forced it to stop.

The three robbers then led the bus drivers and foreigners to a wooded place, gagged them, roughly took their belongings off of them including computers, cameras, money and jewelry, luckily sparing their passports. Women in the group reported to media saying the robbers touched them indecently and hit them. After several hours of being held captive, the kidnappers fled, and the tourists were able to eventually free themselves and seek help.

“I just hoped he would shoot me in the head quickly so I would not feel pain,” said Kelly, describing the traumatic incident.

On his Facebook account, after arriving in Costa Rica, he posted a text saying: “San José, Costa Rica, please be kind.”

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