Friday, August 14, 2009

Locked Up Abroad

So I don't have a TV in my apartment so I watch very little TV besides the news at work and episodes of the Daily Show online but I found a show I can't stop watching. National Geographic's Locked Up Abroad shows the true stories of people who either get jailed in countries outside the US or kidnapped by rebels overseas. The first episode, shown below, showcases two really dense girls from Southern California (thanks for reinforcing our stereotype) who think it would be a great idea to take up the offer of some strange Peruvian guys they just met to smuggle cocaine from Peru for a "free, all expenses paid trip to the sunny beaches of Peru." Now, besides the fact that this in itself would red flag any sensible person, but these girls didn't even think to research where they were going because if they had they might have figured out that they were going to the country during the winter, and there are no beaches in the city of Lima. Needless to say they get locked up and do a nice little 3 year stint in Peruvian prison which is similar to a refuge camp. From an international relations standpoint, this show is really interesting because it shows the role US diplomats play and the laws around these kind of issues. Another episode is about a guy who gets kidnapped by the FARC in Colombia and talks about the role the Red Cross plays in these situations.
I highly suggest this show if you are interested in these types of issues, or if you are thinking on travelling abroad and doing something stupid. Obviously, all the people in the shows get out of the situation eventually so I learned a lot about what to do when you get kidnapped by a rebel group: act really crazy..pee on yourself, stop eating, inflict injury on yourself.. very useful. Enjoy!


Erin Kamler said...

Katharine, I also got hooked on this show... until I realized it was instilling so much fear about traveling abroad! Do Americans really need to be more paranoid and xenophobic about "foreigners" than we already are? I wonder.

Katharine said...

You know, after watching many episodes right before bed and then having nightmares, I think you may be right. But I think to a certain extent, particularly with the first episode it teaches valuable lessons that you must be informed about where you are going and be a smart traveler.