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Old 20-07-2012, 01:16   #1
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More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

Bocas Del Toro, Panama. On Thursday July 19, there were arrests of two suspects in the brutal attack on a couple aboard their boat while anchored in Bocas. The arrests were made at the suspects home over on the mainland in Almerante about 15 miles from Bocas. This was the first violent attack against cruisers that anyone here can remember in fifteen years at least. I have been here for over six years and it is the first of its kind in that time for sure. One of the suspects had recently been released from prison. The community quickly came together and raised $1600 reward money that played a part in the arrests, it will be split four ways if these arrests hold up. Most of the reward money came from xpats living on land here. The cruisers and those living on dirt here have a great relationship with much friendly interaction that most cruisers say they have never seen in other areas.

This is an wonderful archipelago with many islands and hundreds of beautiful remote anchorages, and it would be a shame if this one incident kept people from experiencing it. The town of Bocas is like a lot of third world places, not as clean as we would like, more crime than in the past but the violence of this incident was defiantly outside the norm.

There are good restaurants here, so, so shopping, and Bocas Marina is an agent for Marine Warehouse out of Miami which has a ship coming to Panama every couple of weeks or so, so parts can be had. I am totally retired and have no financial interest in anything here, just a fan of the place.
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Old 20-07-2012, 01:27   #2
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

Let's hope that justice is done and the couple recover (however difficult that will be) great to hear that positive action has resulted in the arrest.

Let's also hope the locals can achieve a tightening on behaviour like this so their village economy can also recover and that there are no further disgusting incidents in the future.
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Old 20-07-2012, 21:38   #3
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

Sorry, but cant let the truth slip by.
Bocas is dangerous as hell. Countless robberies on land and on boats everywhere there.
The previous post says the attackers were caught? Oh yea? who told you that?
The place is compltely corrupt,the prosecutor there has been publically explained as not qualified for investigations by the office in panama and also the prosecutor in bocas del toro was on vacation when asked to issue a search warrant from this crime,check outpanama guide for more details.
No resolvement to this crime or hundreds others.
Now I can sleep tonight with a clear conciense.
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Old 21-07-2012, 02:07   #4
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

There is more than a kernel of truth in some of what you say, but where is it totally safe? A movie theater in Colorado? My youngest son was murdered in a home invasion in San Antonio, Texas three years ago. When I was last in St. Croix you took your life in your hands if you walked from the business district in Christianstead the 1/4 mile around the harbor to the custom docks after dark, and that was 35 years ago. I had a laptop stolen off my boat in a Bocas anchorage 4 years ago and I now have a panic button a few inches from my hand when I'm in bed that sets off an ear shattering alarm.

As far as corruption goes, Bocas and Panama have no exclusive on that, but for the most part that would normally not effect a cruiser.

The reward for the perpetrators of this horrible attack is now up to $2000 and although there is only one of them in custody at this time there is a good chance the other will be apprehended soon. As far as the Panama Guide is concerned, I talked to the publisher, Don Winner, and gave him the heads up on this when it first came down.

It is still a beautiful place with a great community of supportive people both on board the fleet and living ashore.
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Old 21-07-2012, 03:11   #5
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

Sorry for your life tragedys,but in bocas the local island authorities do not care one ioda about americans in fact in my experience I think they hate the guts
of americans there,just to get the police to react to this was like pulling teeth
as reported on panama guide. That place is so corrupt that in my opinion marshall law needsto be declared there as people who go there have a false sense of security.
The entire govt. there is corrupt and not worth a dime of anybodys money.
With the track record of this place, I would say take your money elsewhere and let them kill each other,instead of more innocent people,god bless.
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Old 21-07-2012, 06:40   #6
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

The current issue of Islands magazine lists Bocas Del Toro as one of the top 5 islands to retire early on (page 42).
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Old 21-07-2012, 10:38   #7
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

I suppose getting killed is a form of "retiring early".
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Old 21-07-2012, 10:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Larry
The current issue of Islands magazine lists Bocas Del Toro as one of the top 5 islands to retire early on (page 42).
maybe it meant, ".. Top 5 islands to expire early on..."
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Old 21-07-2012, 11:15   #9
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

Quote:
Originally Posted by soflodoug View Post
Sorry for your life tragedys,but in bocas the local island authorities do not care one ioda about americans in fact in my experience I think they hate the guts
of americans there,just to get the police to react to this was like pulling teeth
as reported on panama guide. That place is so corrupt that in my opinion marshall law needsto be declared there as people who go there have a false sense of security.
The entire govt. there is corrupt and not worth a dime of anybodys money.
With the track record of this place, I would say take your money elsewhere and let them kill each other,instead of more innocent people,god bless.
So Soflodoug, is there a specific event or events that formed your opinion of Bocas?

Do you, or have you, lived there?
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Old 21-07-2012, 11:42   #10
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
So Soflodoug, is there a specific event or events that formed your opinion of Bocas?

Do you, or have you, lived there?

Gentlemen, place your bets....
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Old 21-07-2012, 11:47   #11
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

Sloflodoug's post reads seriously like trolling to me.
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Old 21-07-2012, 13:34   #12
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

Well I am retired here in the Bocas Archipelago where I have lived on my boat for over six years. As I stated before this vicious attack is the first violence against a cruising boat in recent memory. Over the six plus years that I have been here thefts and burglaries have increased right along with the increase in drug problems, is it not so in most places.

Here as in any third world country I have visited, the corruption is a fact of life and is more visible here than say, in the states. In that statement the key word is visible.

I had been informed that two arrests in this attack had been made but as of today only one man is in custody and the other is known and being sought. Items taken in the attack have been recovered along with what appears to loot from other robberies. The arrest came as a result of information supplied by local Panamanians.

There are bad guys everywhere but I have made some good friends here locals and xpats both, and at this time have no plans to leave any time soon. The marinas are full of boats that came here for a week or two and are still here months later, that must count for something.

For anyone interested in seeing how the community is responding to this go to Facebook groups:

Bocas Open Forum, Bocas Crime Reports, or the cruisers, Bocas Net which is an extension of the morning net on VHF.

Speaking of the VHF net it is a mix of cruisers and land based xpats called the BEN Network. That stand for Bocas Emergency Network and is comprised of people helping people. It is available 24/7 for any emergency, some participants are doctors, some have fast boats, or other skills, they have rushed people to hospitals, went offshore and taken boats in tow and provided help in many other instances. As you can see, we have plenty of problems but it is a place I'm now happy to call home.
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Old 21-07-2012, 14:14   #13
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

The many times Connie and I have stoped at Bocas over the years we have seen a change in the place, as we have seen in many places in central america! Drugs seem to be the common factor in the change! places we used to anchor or dock now have a bunch of the drug trade going on and theft and phyiscal violence has become common place! also the downswing in income has hurt folks down there as much or more then it has hit the Mainland of the USA!! Folks are hurting down there ! so petty theft is on the up swing ! Lets just hope that things like this crime on cruisers is not going to become common place as well !! We sure hope there is a rapid end to this whole thing and the perps get there prison time !! we sure would hate to put Bocas on our no go list !! just our 2 cents
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Old 22-07-2012, 07:26   #14
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

I showed up here two months ago now, I like it. At first I was put off while I was anchored in the anchorage where the event took place. Luckily we have a mean looking dog who barked at every passing boat. So no one was too keen on our boat. But once I moved out of town, I feel much safer and there is a lot more to enjoy.

I must say the BEN (Bocas Emergency Network) is a bunch of cruisers and epats that keep a radio presence on the VHF. In total when the boat radioed out for help, I answered but had no cell phone reception, and two BEN members answered and called the police.

Then everyone got together to build up a reward, and despite the disgusting actions of the legal system here without producing a warrant for arrest because the prosecutor was on vacation and the temp didn't want to. The cruiser and Expat community played a vital role in the arrests.

I would rather hang out here than anywhere in florida through the hurricane season. I do think the local government needs to smarten up and notice how much money and stability the Expats and cruisers bring to Bocas and take things like this a bit more seriously. All in all these things happen everywhere, and it is the response off the government and community that determine how often these things will happen in the future. The community here was hands down very very impressive with their response, the government was horrid. But one is going back to jail... hopefully..

I don't think I would pass on Bocas because of this event, it is a large place, and it is pretty obvious if you ask around where the trouble spots are.
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Old 22-07-2012, 09:35   #15
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Re: More on the recent attack on cruisers in Bocas Del Toro

so, you got a couple bad guys out of what total local population?

Gotta be a smaller percentage bad guys than most places I can think of outside Tibet.
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