A horrible and cowardly act of gratuitous violence - overkill that was clearly not necessary in order to complete the robbery. Sadly, it has become an all too common occurrence virtually everywhere
in today's society (and as Gord May pointed out, people living in North American cities live in glass houses and should decidedly not throw stones at St. Martin).
Avoid St. Martin? Avoid Antigua
? Avoid St. Kitts? Avoid St. Vincent? Avoid Puerto Rico
? Avoid St. Lucia? Avoid Trinidad? Avoid Venezuela's offshore
Islands? Avoid Brazil
. Avoid Panama
? Sure, you can if you so choose. But while you are at it, you should also avoid going out in even your own home town, where acts of senseless violence are also bound to occur. Yes, to be totally safe, you should sell your boat and move into a gated community in a house with bars, security
cameras, alarms, search lights and a safe room. Sound like fun?
Alternatively, there are things that we can(and should
do) to minimize our risk while cruising. Alarm
systems connected to the spreader lights, bars on large hatches/doors are a good start (and dummy safes with cancelled credit cards, relatively small amounts of cash and your passports a good 'finish', if they somehow manage to actually get in).
Resistance? Each must decide that for him or herself. But one wonders what would have happened if Mike, knowning that he was outnumbered and at a disadvantage, hadn't physically struck back. The result in terms of the beating he received may
have been the same (at which time one may as well do more than passive resistance), or.....
In the final analysis, our hearts go out to Mike as a fellow cruiser who suffered a fate far worse than anyone deserves. What I suggest we should not do is to become frozen in fear as a result of his fate (and that of many others who have been victimized elsewhere in a similar way). To do that is to let the bad guys win - it is to limit our mobility, our desire to explore new places and things and to pursue our dreams because of risks that are on the one hand unavoidable (this can occur anywhere), and on the other hand able to be minimized (with proper security systems in place).