Friday, March 1, 2024

US warns against travel to Jamaica and Bahamas amid violent crimes

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

A DREAM VACATION FOR MILLIONS– TAKE YOUR PICK– THE BAHAMAS OR JAMAICA– OR MAYBE DON’T.

U-S OFFICIALS ARE URGING WOULD-BE VACATION-GOERS– NOT TO TRAVEL TO THESE TROPICAL PARADISES.

WHY?

MURDER.

THE U-S STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTS THE HOMICIDE RATE IN JAMAICA IS “AMONG THE HIGHEST IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.”

IT’S NOT JUST MURDER. THE FEDS WARN JAMAICA’S AMBULANCES ARE NOT READILY AVAILABLE, HOSPITALS ARE UNDER-RESOURCED, MANY REQUIRING PAYMENT UPFRONT. PLUS, SEXUAL ASSAULTS OCCUR FREQUENTLY, “INCLUDING AT ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS.”

IN THE BAHAMAS, THERE’S BEEN A SPIKE OF GANG-RELATED MURDERS.   BURGLARIES, ARMED ROBBERIES AND SEXUAL CRIMES ARE ON THE RISE IN BOTH TOURIST AND NON-TOURIST AREAS, THE U-S WARNS.

TWO MOTHERS FROM KENTUCKY VACATIONING IN THE BAHAMAS WERE UNAWARE OF THE ADVISORIES. NOW SAYING THEY ARE TWO OF THE LATEST VICTIMS. THE PAIR TELLING A LOCAL KENTUCKY STATION OF THE TRIP – ACCUSING TWO STAFFERS AT A RESORT OF SPIKING THEIR DRINKS AT A RESORT– AND RAPING THEM. NOW, THE WOMEN HAVE WORDS OF CAUTION FOR ANYONE CONSIDERING A TRIP TO THE BAHAMAS.

[AMBER SHEARER/DONGAYLA DOBSON]

“Be safe. Two is not a group. Do not buy any drinks that come unless they come in a sealed container, in a bottle.”

[LAUREN TAYLOR]

THE ROYAL BAHAMAS POLICE SAID OFFICERS HAVE ARRESTED TWO MEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE RAPES– AND ARE REPORTED TO BE WORKING WITH F-B-I.

THE RESORT HAS REFUTED THE PAIR’S CHARGES BASED ON ITS REVIEW OF SURVEILLANCE VIDEO.

THE INCIDENT FOLLOWS A U-S SECURITY ALERT IN LATE JANUARY, WARNING OF A STRING OF GANG-RELATED MURDERS.  THE U-S EMBASSY SAYING THE SLAYINGS “OCCURRED AT ALL HOURS INCLUDING IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.”

RIGHT NOW, STATE DEPARTMENT LISTS THE BAHAMAS AT TWO-OUT-FOUR– ON THE TRAVEL ADVISORY SCALE– INDICATING TOURISTS SHOULD ‘EXERCISE INCREASED CAUTION.”

IN JAMAICA, THE LEVEL IS EVEN HIGHER AT A “THREE”– URGING

VACATIONERS TO “RECONSIDER TRAVEL.”

THE AGENCY TOLD N-P-R IF TRAVEL IS STILL IN THE CARDS:

–TO KEEP A LOW PROFILE–

–AVOID SECLUDED PLACES– PUBLIC BUSES

– AND DRIVING OR WALKING AT NIGHT.

OFFICIALS ARE ASKING AMERICANS TO JOIN THE SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM, WHICH SENDS ALERTS AND HELPS LAW ENFORCEMENT FIND YOU IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.

LEADERS IN THE BAHAMAS AND JAMAICA ARE PUSHING BACK AGAINST THE ADVISORIES.

THE JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD TOLD N-P-R:

“OVERALL, THE CRIME RATE AGAINST VISITORS TO JAMAICA REMAINS EXTREMELY LOWER AT 0.01 PERCENT.”

ADDING THE PLACES OF CONCERN ARE “VERY DISTINCTLY DEFINED AREAS” AND MOST OF THE REGION “REMAINS UNAFFECTED.”

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