Central America, along with every other country in the world, has it’s share of crime. The majority of them start at the airport. Many pirate cabs, that offer a much lower fare, await the newcomer. 50% of them are good guys trying to make a living, but the other 50% not so much.
I have heard SOOO many stories of people arriving at the airport, trying to save a couple of bucks by going with a pirate cab over the official airport ones, then crying that they were robbed of everything.
My advice, spend the extra few bucks. Airport cabs are registered, each trip is logged in and accounted for. They will never rob you because the whole company has to answer for the misdoing. Plus the cabbies who work for the airport get benefits, are secured with a job and definitely have no intention of losing a weekly paycheck for your wallet.