Couple use helmet camera to film Guatemala robbery

Masked robber in Guatemala Image copyright
Image caption The two men appeared from bushes by the side of the road

A couple captured the moment they were held up at gunpoint by bandits while travelling through Guatemala.

Heidi Burton, from Cambridge, was riding as a pillion passenger on her Canadian boyfriend's motorbike when a man emerged from a bush with a gun.

Footage from Dan Landsborough's helmet camera shows a second man appear, wielding a machete.

The couple were allowed to leave after the men had taken rings from Ms Burton's fingers and a bag of items.

Ms Burton wrote on her blog that they had "thoroughly" researched the road between San Pedro La Laguna and Santiago Atitlan.

"It seemed there were no reports of criminal activity since a few years ago," she wrote. "Dan had taken this route a few weeks back on his motorbike and returned, with no issues."

Image copyright Contributed
Image caption Dan Landsborough and Heidi Burton say the incident will not stop them travelling
Image copyright
Image caption A phony wallet was taken from Dan Landsborough during the robbery

But she said when it came to the journey on 10 April she felt relieved as they neared the end of a dirt road which had forced them to slow down.

"A masked bandito appeared in the distance holding a gun out at us, and right next to us another jumped out of the bushes with a machete," she said.

"They demanded "dinero" (money) and proceeded to search us.

"It all happened so quickly, we barely had time to think about the consequences.

"I read that people have been hurt when resisting robbery in these situations, so we tried to make it a smooth transaction and only really thought about how dangerous it was once it was over."

A bag of items including electronics, worth about £170, was cut from the bike.

Image copyright
Image caption The couple were forced to stop their motorbike when a man appeared from a bush, holding a gun

Mr Landsborough, who is from Calgary, said he had "researched the situation" in his mind.

"Nine times out of 10, banditos like these just want money and valuables and quickly," he said.

"The moment the first one jumped out and pointed the gun at me I knew what was happening.

"I just tried to go to a calm, composed place inside of myself, read the situation as it develops, give them what they want, quickly, and get out of there."

The couple, who are both 34, said the experience would not put them off travelling or returning to the country.

"Crime can happen anywhere," Ms Burton said. "It is only the small minority of individuals in Guatemala that give it a bad name."

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