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#213041 - 25 March 12 7:00 am - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed ***** [Re: LanSluder]
Peggyrose Offline

**

Registered: 22 May 07
Posts: 169
Loc: London
Those in Government, the decision makers as well as the press and Belizean people all equally agree that the escalating crime rate in Belize is intolerable. Of the different problems exacerbating the situation, witness intimidation has over the years been most often cited by the press, the public and officialdom alike. The culture of witness intimidation is preventing crimes being prosecuted and has successfully allowed the criminal fraternity to create a climate of fear in which they are able to operate with impunity; witness intimidation is an important and key strategy by the criminal community in ensuring that the balance of power remains in their favour.

‘If the police are failing to even apprehend the murderers, build a proper case file and bring the accused before the courts, what does it matter if they are tried by a judge alone instead of a judge and jury?

It is not that Belizean juries are perverse and allowing guilty men go free, it is that the cases collapse when they finally get to court or are routinely withdrawn by prosecutors because of the chilling fact of witness intimidation.

Witness intimidation is at the heart of the problem, not juries. Fix the witness intimidation problem and conviction rates will begin to rise.

Preventative detention allows the authorities to detain suspected criminals, in certain circumstances, for up to 90 days. One could see with this if the police department had the intelligence network and wherewithal to intercept the criminal masterminds, detain them and thus interrupt crime before it can be perpetrated. But if the police still struggle with basic law enforcement, one can only despair at the notion of their utilizing more sophisticated instruments of law enforcement.

The citizenry feels that it is vulnerable to random acts of homicide and that state is powerless to protect or detect’ (Godfrey Smith 2011).

www.flashpointbelize.com/flashpointarticles/tabid/103/EntryId/129/The-Economics-of-Crime.aspx

There is no doubt that crime is escalating in Belize and it does not help to know that those in power or those qualified to make changes have no real solutions. It also does not help knowing that the rising crime rate has been noted and covered by the press for years now with no effect. People on this forum are right to be alarmed – there is no one there to protect you. It is each to his own…the tipping point has been reached and now it is going to be hard to get crime back on track without everyone pitching in. Throwing stones and blaming is not going to make an impact; that’s just part of the culture in Belize and does not lead to action – quite the opposite – it leads to apathy.

Nor does it help when people compare Belize crime stats with those in other countries and conclude that the crime rate is no better and no worse than anywhere else. This only increases apathy and lulls us into complacency. This attitude plays into the hands of criminals because it suggests there isn’t a problem – at least not until that person is hit. Even if tomorrow 20 tourists were killed, robbed, or raped in Belize there will be those who will still tell us - it could be worse. The loss of life of one single tourist is never acceptable – nor is the loss of a single Belizean life. I realize that people are protecting their investment in tourism and real estate by assuming this stance however if Belize is going to be an important tourist destination or build a robust real estate market then it needs to be as close to a crime free zone as possible. Camouflaging the situation can never be a genuine strategy as eventually the word will get out – Belize is dangerous – stay away. Denial creates a smoke screen where criminals are protected from detection. It is a form of collusion with the criminal community because it prevents action and wilfully disguises the true state of affairs.

There isn’t the finance in Belize to entirely upgrade Policing in terms of equipment and expertise so it’s a case of working together with the police – getting to know your local Police Officers by name – having community meetings linked in to nationwide meetings – creating a structure where people can input their skills and knowledge. There is so much information and help out there – that is if people really want to work together. The options are limitless. Crime is committed in the community and the community knows exactly who and where the perpetrators are. They also know which families are unable to hold together and are involved in or likely to be involved in crime - and as a result need intervention care.

Recognising the importance of community police partnerships the UK Government is investing in community based crime prevention networks.

'We will play our part too by making the police more accountable to the public they serve and ensure that local policing priorities are focussed on what local people want, not on what central government thinks they want. We have also introduced the first ever nationwide street level crime maps which, along with regular beat meetings, mean the public can hold their local force to account not just every four years but every day '.

‘Since January the public have been able to see what crime and antisocial behaviour is happening on their streets via www.police.uk(Opens in a new window) and find out how to contact their local police if they have concerns. Through the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners from May 2012 the government is also giving power back to the people, giving them a proper say in how their local area is policed, and at the same time freeing up the police from central government targets and red tape to help officers get back out on the streets fighting crime.’

www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/press-releases/14M-to-empower-communities


Edited by Peggyrose (25 March 12 2:00 pm - America/Chicago)
_________________________
tpr

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#213047 - 25 March 12 8:32 am - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed [Re: LanSluder]
ckocian Online   content

**

Registered: 01 January 99
Posts: 3490
Loc: San Antonio TX USA and Seine B...
Some of us do not live there but have lived there and still own property there. I say "there" but I'm actually in Belize right now at the one place where we feel totally comfortable and safe. Lenny, if you have a problem with folks stating the obvious I'd say that's your problem and not the problem of others. You have property to sell and I suppose you'd rather not have comments made here or in the Belize print and TV news about some shocking crimes committed on people who have either been very unlucky or they didn't know up front to be wary. C'mon guy!

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#213050 - 25 March 12 10:03 am - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed [Re: LanSluder]
Stokke Offline


Registered: 06 January 02
Posts: 175
Loc: Port Angeles, Wa.
My wife & I are revisiting the end of this month & early April. Keeping our fingers crossed we don't become victims...

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#213053 - 25 March 12 10:40 am - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed [Re: LanSluder]
Belizelenny Offline

**

Registered: 23 March 05
Posts: 981
Loc: Corozal
It just seems Lan leans in one direction. I live here full-time.. There are many good happenings in Belize that do not get the attention they should.. But that's the nature of news.

Crime is an issue in Belize, as it is everywhere. It's everyones problem.
_________________________
Mark "Lenny" Leonard, Realtor & Relocation Specialist
Retire in Belize Corozal - pfbz.com
Cerros Sands - cerrossands.com
Paradise Development Ltd - Construction, Development & Off Grid Technologies

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#213056 - 25 March 12 1:21 pm - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed [Re: LanSluder]
Sunday08 Offline


Registered: 04 November 07
Posts: 232
Loc: northern california, usa
I've visited Belize over a half dozen times. This Chartered Sailboat situation is unfortunate, and I feel bad that the tourists had to endure that. However, does this news make me "afraid" to return? Hell no. I cannot think of one place in the US, even my quiet little hometown, that I could 100% say to a visitor....nothing bad will happen here.
Crime is part of life..everywhere to some extent.







,

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#213060 - 25 March 12 4:33 pm - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed [Re: LanSluder]
belizesailor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 25 March 12
Posts: 1
I was the captain of the catamaran sail boat rented from the Moorings that was robbed at gun point.
Here are a few particulars:

Boat.... Lagoon 4600
On Board... 8 persons (4 male, 4 female)
Place of robbery... west side of Pelican Caye (approx due east of Hopkins).
Time of robbery... approx 10 pm, Sunday, March 18, 2012

Some details.....

They had one gun.... a 9mm Glock style pistol.
One used a dagger type knife.

3 robbers on boat beating, and raping. One was waitng on the white Panga while the others were on the boat. They spoke english(sort of).
They were about 30 yrs old, one was maybe 18 years old.

They wouold not take our Belize dollars... only US currency
Items taken that we know of right now

Cobra Marine Handheld Radio model number MR HH425LI VP
ATT Samsung Galaxy II Rocketship cell phone (service discontinued) black color

Dinghy was approx 11 ft long, gray in color, fiberglass hard bottom. had a new Mercury 9.5 hp motor. The shift control on this motor was built into the throttle.

They beat us, and stabbed us...even though we were turning over our money. They had no mercy. One (with the gun) had a red colored mask that he would pull up over his face.

I hope that these thugs will be apprehended. I am open to any persons that can help us. We are in the US getting medical attention now. My wife was stabbed in the abdomen. I was stabbed in the collar bone area. If you can help us please contact me in this forum

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#213061 - 25 March 12 4:46 pm - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed [Re: LanSluder]
LanSluder Offline

**

Registered: 04 May 04
Posts: 8109
Loc: USA/Belize
Very sorry this happened to you.

Interesting that the thugs would not take Belize currency. That could suggest these scum were from Guatemala or elsewhere, rather than Belize, or at least did not plan to head to Belize, but one never knows.

Hope the Belize authorities and Belize Tourism Board were helpful to you.

--Lan Sluder

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#213064 - 25 March 12 6:16 pm - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed [Re: LanSluder]
Chiefsipes Offline

*

Registered: 25 January 10
Posts: 1274
Loc: Mansfield, AR USA
US$ are accepted everywhere..BZ$ only in Belize (and at the money changers on the borders), so it isn't that strange that they would want only US currency.

belizesailor,
Did you have weapons on your craft? And if so, did you have a watch posted?
_________________________
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."
George Orwell

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#213066 - 25 March 12 6:35 pm - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed [Re: LanSluder]
LanSluder Offline

**

Registered: 04 May 04
Posts: 8109
Loc: USA/Belize
Chiefsipes, it's not STRANGE that the thugs would want U.S. dollars, but it's SUGGESTIVE that they weren't Belizeans. Why would someone living in Belize decline to steal Belize dollars?!

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#213067 - 25 March 12 7:02 pm - America/Chicago Re: Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed [Re: LanSluder]
thecol Offline

*

Registered: 06 February 11
Posts: 1592

Just wondering but would it not be a good idea if you live in

that area to get some "small arms" training etc. and if going

out on a Cruise Boat .Check on the "self defence"in place

like number of small arms and training of crew etc etc.

I am positive it would have scared the ##@#@#% out of those

crooks,mostly they are cowards and can not stand a fire fight..

I remember my navy days ,those clowns would not have come

close to one of our rowboats we were always well protected .

What are the laws about self protection in Belize ???

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