Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Coded Teddy Bears on Honduran Taxis and Buses

5 May 2015

by Tim Rogers

There’s a troubling new trend on the streets of Tegucigalpa these days: taxi drivers with teddy bears.

And no, it’s not some creepy pedophile thing.

According to Honduran social media and newspaper reports, cabbies and bus drivers who have stuffed animals sitting on their dashboard, hanging from their rearview mirror, or tied to their vehicle’s front grille could be signaling gang members.

Though no one seems to have fully decoded the teddy bears’ secrets, it’s rumored that different colored stuffed animals mean the bus driver is or isn’t paying extortion to certain gangs. A stuffed animal displayed through the windshield could be a signal to gangs that the driver isn’t paying extortion at all, but is willing to cooperate with gang members if they stop the vehicle to rob the passengers onboard, according to the social media fretting of Hondurans. […]