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Old 13-07-2012, 07:20   #91
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

The rio thing was the drug cartel who stepped in. They run a legitimate illegitimate business and don't need local gang killings mucking up their area of operation by attracting more police. The head of the cartel built the hospital that the woman was cared for in, and even put up a security detail for her. There is a difference between organized crime and gang crime, one of them has profit margins to look out for.

Panama James,

The only incident that you mention that happened in Bocas was Buffalo Bill the serial killer, who was american and preyed on victims interested in real estate, not the cruising community. David is on the Pacific, and Colon is considered one of the worst cities in the world, but Panama City isn't and is only an hr away. Bocas is much much further. Other than a few stuff stolen off the deck of a boat, there hasn't been issues this egregious in Bocas.

That is worse than saying because parts of New York City are unsafe, all of New York state is unsafe.
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:50   #92
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

i think David Ol Jersey is bang on the point when he mentions - if you are abroad, hire a local to look after your security.
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Old 13-07-2012, 09:05   #93
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

List of countries by intentional homicide rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As you'll see from the following link, Central America is second on the list for murder rate among countries. North America 13th and East and South East Asia, 20th.
Sure, you can say that some countries do not go after cruisers in order to protect their organized crime. But you don't want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as people are finding out in Mexico.
I don't care if you see a difference with gangs vs. organized criminals...dead is dead. So why minimize areas you cruise in as safe when they're not. Most likely you are there because it's close to home, where you can fly back during the off season.
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Old 13-07-2012, 09:24   #94
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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Sucks!

But if it had been a home invasion it would barely make the local news. Lets not use this sad incident to make cruising a dangerous thing. I believe in Latin American the biggest crime area is break ins, we need to make our boats secure.

Here's the thing that concerns me the most about this report, Don. It isn't just that they were broken into like that and the woman attacked so horribly.

It's that these particular criminals seemed to have absolutely no concerns about being caught in the act. The reporter says that he had to go fetch the police himself to get police out to the crime scene. I suspect that this may be typical of that area. Typically B & E crooks want to get in and out as fast as they can.

Homes often have "panic switches" that will set off an alarm. Do they make such things for boats, where someone could press it and lights and sirens would sound? There's never any one "right" thing to do in such a situation, but lots of people have burglar alarms on their homes even though they don't really expect anything to happen ...
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Old 13-07-2012, 10:43   #95
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Good idea on the panic alarm. You can make it yourself. Lights and sirens etc.

We have an electronic dog with motion detector and a couple of large cans of pepper spray (grizzly bear spray).

I used to have a 45 auto but Mexicans took it away. Thats another story.

As for Bocas, it is not the place I favor for my boat. Alot of stuff happening in the town and I won't get into that. I was there for awhile at the Marina. A boat at the marina 3 slips away got struck by lightning. I was lucky.
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Old 13-07-2012, 12:22   #96
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

I agree with the panic alarm and mentioned it earlier in the thread. First, a simple 12V auto light over the outboard near the boarding ladder. You could add a low volume back-up alarm to wake the owners up. Second the companionway ladder hinged to swing up and block the companionway or a grate that could replace the boards and locked fro the inside. Then third...after you confirm an intrusion, hit the panic button connected to a 130+db. siren paralleled wired to the spreader or deck lights. Now the perps have to really think if it's worth it. It also buys you time to get on the VHF.
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Old 13-07-2012, 17:51   #97
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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let's not use the presence of thugs to classify a country as third world, less others may classify New York City as such.....
Dude, I drove though NYC once. Looked like a moonscape - brown dust on everything. Plus a couple of scenes that would take too long to type out & no pics, sorry.

Never again I hope.

Scrape it off the face and dump it far out at sea.
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Old 14-07-2012, 08:59   #98
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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Dude, I drove though NYC once. Looked like a moonscape - brown dust on everything. Plus a couple of scenes that would take too long to type out & no pics, sorry.

Never again I hope.

Scrape it off the face and dump it far out at sea.
The best thing about NY city is seeing the George Washington bridge in my rear view mirror as I am heading south...It is not the NY of the 80s I remember from my youth,but it is still NY,the area around Harlem has changed alot but the Bronx is still a tough place...I had a flat tire once and was on the drivers side changing it when I noticed the car was shaking,I got up and walked to the other side and there was this Pt.Rican guy removing the other tire! I asked "what the hell are you doing "and he said"that side is yours this side is mine"!!I told him it was all mine and that I was going to call the police(before cell phones) and he said that in that case he would get them all before I got back!! true story...SOB...DVC
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Old 14-07-2012, 09:07   #99
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Although not been back for nearly 5 years now, one thing I noticed very much over the previous 15? years of on and off visiting (mostly extended periods) was how the culture of deference had changed within the societies themselves and towards others. No longer the case that being a Westerner automatically gives you a free pass (from things that affect the locals
So true David, it's been all down hill since the bloody Zulus. Where is Cecil Rhodes when you need him...

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Old 14-07-2012, 12:44   #100
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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So true David, it's been all down hill since the bloody Zulus. Where is Cecil Rhodes when you need him...

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I think it all went down hill when Women got the vote.

Just sayin'

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Old 15-07-2012, 11:34   #101
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

just thought I will share this with all on CF

Self-Defense

this site deals with self defence and how to tackle violent crimes - e.g. knife fighting, rape, psychological mindset, legal ramifications of overpowering and killing the attacker.
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Old 15-07-2012, 12:29   #102
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

I have been in the Bocas area over six years, there was a rape on a boat here 15 years ago I am told by one of the marina owners. In my time here this is the first violent crime against cruisers that I know of, although there have been many breakins and laptops stolen. It did take the police until 1530 to get out to the boat but the husband was at the station with them the intire time. if interested in how the community is responding go to Facebook and search Bocas Open Forum.
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Old 15-07-2012, 12:40   #103
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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The best thing about NY city is seeing the George Washington bridge in my rear view mirror as I am heading south...It is not the NY of the 80s I remember from my youth,but it is still NY,the area around Harlem has changed alot but the Bronx is still a tough place...I had a flat tire once and was on the drivers side changing it when I noticed the car was shaking,I got up and walked to the other side and there was this Pt.Rican guy removing the other tire! I asked "what the hell are you doing "and he said"that side is yours this side is mine"!!I told him it was all mine and that I was going to call the police(before cell phones) and he said that in that case he would get them all before I got back!! true story...SOB...DVC
Folks might think this is funny, but it's reality in parts of NYC.

They don't call 'em CAR-casses for nothing in NYC! It's what's left after someone's car breaks down on the CBE'(Cross Bronx Expressway for non locals) and goes to get help. That's if the WHOLE CAR is'nt yanked into a black hole never to be seen again!

I frequent NYC on occassions due to needing to go in to see folks, and shop, and ride the NJT (New Jersey Transit Train) in to Penn Stn. Once there I head outside and get my bearings and begin playing 'Frogger' trying to keep ahead of anything that might prevent my roundtrip into turning into a one way. I've driven in a few times, but I value not having my ride stolen so I stopped doing that in the '90's. Even a crapped out vehicle is fair game for theft these days, so why bother?
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Old 15-07-2012, 12:51   #104
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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Originally Posted by Panamajames View Post
Sunday, November 16 2008 @ 09:04 PM COT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 1,432
By Luis Carlos Rodríguez for La Critica - 60 year old American James Hansen, who was shot three times in the back and once in the thigh last Tuesday in the district of Antón, remains hospitalized in a private hospital in Panama City and is recovering from his wounds. Hansen was traveling with his 25 year old Colombian girlfriend Liliana Beltrán when he was attacked by unknown assailants.
Gringo baleado en Antón se recupera

Luis Carlos Rodríguez | Crítica en Línea

Estable en una clínica privada de la ciudad capital, se mantiene recluido el norteamericano James Hanses, de 60 años.

Hansen recibió tres impactos de bala en la espalda y uno en el muslo derecho el pasado martes, en el distrito de Antón, cuando viajaba junto a su novia, la colombiana Liliana Beltrán, de 25 años.

Panama is a very dangerous place. Law enforcement did nothing in my case and I put together all the evidence for them. I went to the FBI with evidence and they did nothing. I KNOW WHO THE PERBS ARE AND THEY DO NOTHING. In order to get the Panama police moving on this I needed to hire a lawyer. The first lawyer quoted me $5,000 just to start the process file a criminal complaint against the perps but said it would cost more towards $20,000 for the follow through. Follow through with the criminal system in Panama by hiring a private lawyer. INSANE. I then went to Panama hero Don Winner for help. He wrote back a blunt email. File your criminal complaint and until you do DO NOT WRITE ME BACK. Don didn't want to be bothered with my problem. I just didn't have $5k hanging around to start the criminal process. Thanks Don for your help.

Be prepared to defend yourself and your family and don't count on law enforcement. The article about me was wrong. It is 6 shots not 4. I had the will to live. I know have the will bigtime to defend myself and my Colombian wife with proper planning and vigilance. She is now my wife.

I can relate to these people that were robbed and abused. My heart goes out to them. I wish I could give them advice that would help. Please contribute to the reward fun for the perps. They will need the $$$ for a private lawyer to follow through with the police.

I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am just a little angry at law enforcement but will get over it. My wife (girl friend at the time) still suffers from PTSS, Post traumatic stress. She is who I feel bad for. She was not shot. A true miracle.
PJ, I recall following your story on Lat38 back then, and am glad you are still with us. Congrats on getting married and continuing on with your sailing life. I was a bit surprised that 'nothing has gotten done in your case' with regard to the crime and perps. It did seem at first that the local boating community was coming to your aid from what I was reading( in bits and pieces) online back then. I'm a bit dismayed to hear that no 'fund' was set up for your benefit, what with you having already done 90% of the legwork to get the perps convicted.

I've spent some time in Panama, had aquaintences there, and brought 2 of my own boats through the Ditch in the past. I was down there in the late '80's and it was not a pleasent experience in the CZ. Let's just say I lost some friends down there and it's not on my list to ever visit again.
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Old 16-07-2012, 07:49   #105
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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I had a flat tire once and was on the drivers side changing it when I noticed the car was shaking,I got up and walked to the other side and there was this Pt.Rican guy removing the other tire! I asked "what the hell are you doing "and he said"that side is yours this side is mine"!!I told him it was all mine and that I was going to call the police(before cell phones) and he said that in that case he would get them all before I got back!! true story...SOB...DVC
Quote:
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I frequent NYC on occassions due to needing to go in to see folks, and shop, and ride the NJT (New Jersey Transit Train) in to Penn Stn. Once there I head outside and get my bearings and begin playing 'Frogger' trying to keep ahead of anything that might prevent my roundtrip into turning into a one way. I've driven in a few times, but I value not having my ride stolen so I stopped doing that in the '90's. Even a crapped out vehicle is fair game for theft these days, so why bother?
Not to drift the thread too far off topic, but I have to come the the defense of my city. Perhaps in the 80's and 90's it may have been this bad, but today the city is much safer and more civilized. The outer-boroughs have become greatly gentrified with new parks, expensive/fancy apartments, and tons of young people.

That said, I can't wait to permanently cast off the dock lines and sail off into the horizon
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