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Old 31-08-2010, 03:57   #1
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Unhappy Italian Slain on Sailboat in Venezuela

By The Associated Press (CP)

CARACAS, Venezuela ó Police in Venezuela say an Italian tourist has been shot to death on his sailboat.

Local police chief Jose Gonzalez said Monday that the man, Emiliano Astore, was found dead aboard his boat "Yunkano Miami" while it was moored at Margarita Island.

He said the 36-year-old had been killed on Sunday.
Gonzalez told reporters that while it's too early in the investigation to determine the reason for the killing, police suspect he may have been shot during a robbery.

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Old 31-08-2010, 05:49   #2
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Venezuela is in turmoil and I can't imagine it would be a good place to go. Chavez is a dictator and Caracas has a murder rate among the highest in the world. Sad situation about the man shot...I have a good friend and his family there and they are in a really bad situation.

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Old 31-08-2010, 07:22   #3
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Enough of the PC tone. I have no interest in discussing politics.

It's hardly political to point out that it is dangerous to travel to a country where the regime is described by the U.S. State Department and others as one of the world's leading abusers of human rights.

The State Department warns against travel there - This is the discussion a forum for cruisers should have.

My suggestion is to go boating now.
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Old 31-08-2010, 07:44   #4
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This thread started off with a little inflammatory language.

I edited a couple of posts to clean that up.

Let's not do the politics bit. Let's focus on lessons to be learned.
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Old 31-08-2010, 08:25   #5
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post

Let's not do the politics bit. Let's focus on lessons to be learned.
The lesson is lets research these incident fact and quickly!

Margarita Island is a beautiful looking island where on would have thought themselves safe from the mainland difficulties and a perfect stopover for folks going to a new haul out facility near there where the lift and drop & 7 days hard is only $350 US dollars!

I know Margarita Island has a jail on it thats meant to be a bit tough...

But theres resorts there too.

First off lets get the FACTs before we start jumpin to conclusions.

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Old 31-08-2010, 08:41   #6
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Couldn't agree more Mark. I have a problem with the 'doomsayers', whilst not wishing to trivialize violent crime it so often seems that, on further investigation, there are a number of factors that should be taken in to account when judging the security of an anchorage/destination.
My personal experience has been that the majority of attacks are NOT random. Maybe the boater is into buying drugs/using local prostitutes/owes money etc....

No, I am not saying that is ALWAYS the case but rather too often an over zealous statement of risk can be seriously misleading.

Just this weekend we were anchored in a favourite isolated spot when a local boat came over to tell us that it was 'very dangerous to be here, there are many pirates!' They further told us we needed to be in a marina to be safe...

Well we have anchored here many times over the past three years, we practice common sense and keep the boat well secured at night...and then we realised, the bearer of the news owned one of the marinas that would no doubt be very pleased to take our money!

We spent three months in Margarita, there was a murder when we were there. Turned out the victim, a cruiser, was having an affair with a locals wife.......
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Old 31-08-2010, 12:24   #7
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Hi, Folks.

I just deleted 17 posts that were entirely off topic--bribing officials, etc. It's OK to start a thread about your experiences clearing in and out of countries, but it's not OK to totally hijack another member's thread.

I'm not going to PM the posters of the deleted posts.
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Old 31-08-2010, 13:14   #8

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Hi, Folks.

I just deleted 17 posts that were entirely off topic--bribing officials, etc. It's OK to start a thread about your experiences clearing in and out of countries, but it's not OK to totally hijack another member's thread.

I'm not going to PM the posters of the deleted posts.
Jeez. I was reading silently learning something about "Port Relationships" from those posts, and being a bit naive indigenously, wanted to pick up some new skills.
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Old 31-08-2010, 13:42   #9
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Well, that's just all kinds of unfortunate suckage right there. Of course it's not like this hasn't happened other parts of the world. It was an attempted robbery and someone got shot. That kind of stuff happens on land all of the time. Getting caught unawares in those types of unfortunate situations can have tragic consequences, whether youíre on dry land in United States or on the waters Venezuela. Again, itís unfortunate and unfair, but sometimes, thatís just how life is.
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Old 31-08-2010, 17:24   #10
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What I know sadly a sailor died. He may have been slain during a robbery. I would think that would some the thread up. A few pints in the risks in the area. Otherwise it's speculation involving someones death.
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Old 31-08-2010, 17:49   #11
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And now back to our regularly scheduled topic.

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Old 31-08-2010, 19:42   #12
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Needless to say Margarita and Venezuela in toto stands out as a major risk area for cruisers. But, we took to our boats mainly to be personally in charge of our destiny. So where you go and where you anchor/moor is totally a personal choice on the part of a cruiser/cruising family.
- - It anybody wants to see the "facts" they can look at the confirmed reports published in VENEZISLANDS
- - If you find the risk acceptable then again that is a personal decision. Just so long as you take the time to research and assess your risks. We can shake our heads but it is your head that is on the line, not mine. I would never tell you not to go there and I would never tell you, to go there. I would only tell you to assess the risk and make up your own mind. To each, their own.
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Old 31-08-2010, 20:11   #13
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Everyone evaluates risk differently. I sailed through Pirate Alley and up the Red Sea. I felt that we could manage the risk of Pirate Alley, but it could have turned out badly. I enjoyed the Red Sea and Yemen, and I would like to go back.

On the other hand, when we were in Trinidad, I decided against going to Venezuela. I felt it was not worth the risk.

Strange. Both trips involve significant risks. I speak passable Spanish and Arabic, so language was not a factor.

I had lived in both the Middle East and in Spanish speaking countries for long periods of time.

I still would not sail to Venezuela. I probably would do the Red Sea once again if given the opportunity.

One place is in my comfort zone, and one is outside my comfort zone. I suspect that most people feel just the opposite when considering Red Sea cruising and Venezuela cruising.

To some degree, risk in the eyes of the beholder, and we all manage risks differently. Even when you are in a risky location, you can make choices that involve more or less risk.
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Old 31-08-2010, 20:12   #14
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You can be robbed on land, you also can be robbed when you go to shore to pick up supplies. These robberies on yachts had several that sounded like the same perps. "4 men with a gun", shot captain in stomach, ... The degree of law and order in 3rd world countries always has waxed and waned. When your not in your home country be alert and aware. Notice if you are being followed or watched. Don't be predictable, change path and schedule. Keep watch for yourself and others. Know your neighbors, have an emergency plan. I notice 1 boat being followed escaped after pointing a gun like object, (flare gun) at the pursuer. Crooks usually pick easy targets. The reports sound terrible, but out of how many 100's of cruisers, it may not be that more dangerous than any big city. The other poster is right just as you can do things to be safer, (I.E. have an effective defense). There are things you can do to attract trouble, (contraband, excessive drinking in public, leaving valuables unattended, flashing cash, etc...)
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Old 24-09-2010, 05:24   #15
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a bit of research

For what I could get from the internet press, the Italian, Emilano Astore, was in a remote area, Chacachacare. He got shot twice while on his boat, the "Yunkano Miami".

Less that a week after the murders, the police had jailed 3 local policemen as suspects of the crime.

So, moment while I position my soapbox..., it looks like system is working well there, and the crooks are in jail. The fact that 3 cops go to a boat and kill a guy left me thinking that something fishy was going on, I don't think it was a regular robbery.

That same weekend there were 6 murders in Margarita. It looks like there is a lot of regular crime there, probably for the same reasons there is a lot of crime in Los Angeles: crack and poverty.

So, it looks like Chavez did nothing wrong here. He's won cleanly every election in the last 10 years. Calling his presidency a dictatorship implies that Venezuelans put up with dictators, which is very offensive to them because they spilled a lot of blood fighting dictatorships during the first half of the 20th century.

And for those who feel more safe in Trinidad: it's the murder capital of the Caribbean.

It's a tough world, but not as bad as in 20 years.

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